DURHAM, N.H. – Junior Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) tallied a match-best 20 kills, but it was not enough as the University of New Hampshire volleyball team dropped its opening-round match in the Holly Young Invitational, 3-2, to Rhode Island on Friday night at Lundholm Gymnasium. The match scores were 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22 and 15-11. UNH falls to 1-7, while the Rams are now 5-3. The Wildcats return to action with a pair of matches on Saturday to conclude play in the Holly Young Invitational at Lundholm Gymnasium.
In the first match of the tournament, Seton Hall captured a 3-1 win over Evansville. The set scores were 21-25, 25-20, 25-18 and 25-23.
In addition to Bates, Pauline Acres (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had 13 kills, Justine Elliott (Mitchelleville, Md.) had five blocks, while Lindsay Fogarty (Pleasanton, Calif.) added four blocks. Setters Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.) and Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.) had 30 and 14 assists, respectively, while defensively Alyse Lahti (Pepper Pike, Ohio) led the way with 27 digs. Overall, the Wildcats had a season-best 17 blocks in the losing effort.
The final set was tied 10-10, but the Rams closed out the game on a 5-1 run to complete the victory. The Wildcats opened the match by capturing the first set 25-22. In that set, the Wildcats used a match-best 12 kills and hit at a .150 clip. The second set was all Rhode Island early as the Rams stormed out to a 6-1 lead and eventually stretched the lead to 22-12 before a UNH timeout. URI would score the next point to make it 23-12, but the Wildcats rattled off seven-straight points to cut it to 23-19, before losing 25-21. In set three, the teams were back-and-forth early as they were tied at 13-13. UNH would scored the next six points and went on to earn the seven-point win. The fourth set was the closest of the match as there were nine different ties. The set was knotted at 17-17 until URI grabbed control with three-straight points and held that three-point advantage in the end.
Play resumes in the Holly Young Invitational on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with Rhode Island and Seton Hall. The Wildcats will play Evansville at 12:30 p.m. and will conclude their part of the tournament with Seton Hall at 7 p.m. in the second annual “Dig for the Cure” event. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com. This match will be streamed online at unhwildcats.tv.