DURHAM, N.H. - In front of 712 spectators for "Pack the Arena" day, Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif.) recorded a match-high 16 kills to lead the University of New Hampshire women's volleyball team to a 3-0 victory against North Carolina State University in Saturday's early session of the UNH Tournament at the Field House. The game scores were 31-29, 30-28, 30-22.
UNH improved to 2-0 in the tourney, 3-0 at home and 5-8 overall with the victory. NC State is winless in two tournament matches and 2-14 overall.
The Wolfpack built a 16-11 lead in Game 1 but UNH rallied to tie the score, 17-17. NC State went back in front, 20-17, and also led 25-22 before reaching game point at 29-27. UNH fended off those to game points, then an ace by Jen Williams (Mountain View, Calif.) gave the 'Cats a 30-29 lead. A Lauren Knight (Cape Cod, Mass.) kill completed the New Hampshire comeback at 31-29.
In Game 2, NC State took an early 8-4 lead and held a 19-10 advantage before UNH stormed back to take a 25-24 lead when Karen Harrington(Windham, N.H.) and Erin Walker (Fulton, N.Y.) combined for a block. With the score tied at 28, a kill by Erin Ludwig (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) advanced the Wildcats to game point and a Wolfpack hitting error on the next point ended the game.
The third game remained close with the 'Cats holding a three-to-five point edge throughout until they turned a 25-20 lead into game point at 29-21. NC State fought off one match point but succumbed on the next point.
Knight finished with 11 kills. Ludwig, who replaced Anne Davis (Groveland, Ill.) as the setter early in Game 2, finished with 23 assists. Davis finished with 13. Sasha Scott (n. Branford, Conn.) recorded a team-high 10 digs.
NC State was led offensively by Sarah Ensminger (12 kills) and Rebecca Anderson (10) as well as Lindi Sheppard (38 assists). Ensminger finished with a match-high 11 digs.
In the first match of the day, Kent State (5-5) rallied past Montana State (8-5) in five games, 15-30, 30-25, 26-30, 30-25 and 18-16 as KSU improved to 2-0 in the tourney. Jennifer Dreyer recorded seven of her 24 kills in the decisive fifth game, including the last point of the match to give the Golden Flashes the victory.
MSU, now winless in tournament matches, opened the contest by taking a 6-0 lead in Game 1 and Kent State never trimmed the deficit below six points the rest of the game. The Bobcats carried that momentum into the next game and built an 11-3 advantage, but KSU rallied to take a 14-13 lead and extended it to 23-16. Kent State maintained that cushion the rest of the way to level the match at one game apiece.
In Game 3, Kent State apparently wrested away the momentum by taking a 19-12 lead. Montana State recovered, however, and took the lead at 27-23 en route to a 2-1 lead in the match. With KSU trailing 23-19 in Game 4, Danielle Holt (match-high 28 kills) sparked an eight-point run with seven kills and the Golden Flashes evened the match when a Holt kill made the score 29-25 and she closed out the game with a service ace.
Kent State's offense was orchestrated by Anne Butts, who recorded 62 assists, and the defensive effort was led by Tarrin Pelton's match-high 24 digs.
Montana State, which lost in five games to UNH on Friday night, was led offensively by LeAnn Kinvig (16 kills), Ana Schanze (13) and Aimee Halyk (11). Kamber Kelly registered 47 assists and Linsay Stobbs was a defensive presence with eight blocks. Halyk added seven blocks and Schanze finished with six blocks.
The tournament concludes Saturday evening with Montana State vs. NC State at 4 p.m. and Kent State vs. UNH at 7 p.m. The winner of the late match will be the tournament champion.