KINGSTON, R.I. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team split a pair of matches defeating Marist College, 3-1, in the first match before dropping the nightcap to Rhode Island, 3-1, in the opening day of competition at URI's Art Carmichael Invitational.
UNH moves to 3-6 on the season. The set scores against Marist were 18-25, 25-18, 28-26 and 27-25, while scores against URI were 25-15, 25-27, 26-24 and 25-20.
In the win over Marist, Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) led the way with 16 kills and nine digs, while Taylor Dressing (Gillette, N.J.) added 14 kills and four digs. Defensively, Jayde Huxtable (St. Charles, Ill.) recorded a team-high 15 digs, while setter Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.) dished out 36 assists.
Against URI, Dressing once again led the way offensively with 14 kills, seven digs and three blocks. Laquerre added 10 kills and five digs, while freshman Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) chipped in with eight kills and eight digs. Huxtable was once again the defensive leader with 18 digs, while Heldman tallied 35 helpers offensively.
In the opening set against Marist, the teams were back-and-forth for most of the set. The score was deadlocked at 14-14 until six-straight points from the Red Foxes made it 20-14 and Marist went on for the eight-point victory. In the second set, Marist jumped out to a 6-3 lead. UNH responded with five-straight points to make it 8-6. With the set tied at 13-13, New Hampshire closed out the set with a 12-4 run to cruise to an eight-point victory. The final two sets took extra points to settle, but both were won by the Wildcats. The Red Foxes went up 6-2 in the third set only to see the set tied by four-straight points by New Hampshire. The match would stay close for the remainder with 13 ties after 6-6. UNH held a 23-20 edge before Marist rallied to tie it at 23-23. The set was tied 26-26 before a Dressing kill and a Thatcher service ace gave the 'Cats a 28-26 win. In the fourth set, the teams fought back-and-forth once again including late in the set. The teams traded points with ties at 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 before a pair of unforced errors by Marist helped New Hampshire capture the 27-25 win.
Rhode Island captured a convincing 10-point victory in the first set. With the set tied 8-8, the Rams went on 12-2 run went help distance them from New Hampshire. UNH responded with a win in the next set. URI held a 13-12 edge before a 6-1 spurt gave the 'Cats an 18-15 edge. New Hampshire held a 22-19 advantage until a Rhode Island scored five of the set's next six points to make it 24-23 Rhody. UNH earned 27-25 win by back to back points by freshman Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) the first on a kill and the second on a solo block. The Rams won the final two sets by scored of 26-24 and 25-20. In the third set, URI used a match-high 16 kills to earn the victory, while in the fourth and final set the Rams had 15 kills and took advantage of a series of New Hampshire errors.
UNH concludes play at URI's Art Carmichael Invitational as it plays Maryland-Eastern Shore Saturday (12 p.m.). The 'Cats return home to host the Holly Young Invitational on Sept. 17-18. New Hampshire will entertain Dartmouth, Sacred Heart and Rutgers over the weekend. Tickets to the Holly Young Invitational and all UNH home matches are online at www.UNHWildcats.com.