DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team dropped a pair of matches to West Virginia and Ohio State, both by a 3-0 decision, in the first day of competition at the West Virginia Invitational Friday afternoon in Morgantown, W. Va.
The set scores against West Virginia were 24-26, 12-25, and 25-27, while the set scores against Ohio State were 16-25, 18-25 and 14-25.
Against West Virginia, senior Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) registered nine kills, 11 digs and four blocks, while sophomore Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) recorded a team-high 10 kills. Junior Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.) dished out 22 assists and also added 13 digs while junior Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) paced the team with 14 digs. Senior Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.) racked up a match-high 5 blocks.
In the first set, the teams were all knotted up at 9-9 before three-straight gave the Wildcats a 12-9 advantage. The Mountaineers responded to eventually tie it up at 18-18 and then used a 4-1 run to build a 22-19 lead, but the visiting side battled back to even the score before the home squad took the set, 26-24. In the second set, West Virginia jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and held on the momentum to go up, 16-9, before closing it out with a 25-12 victory. The Wildcats responded with a strong effort in the final set as back-to-back kills by Morgan Thatcher and Amy Keding gave the visitors an 8-2 advantage. The Mountaineers answered with a 7-2 run to pull within one, but the 'Cats stretched the lead back up to seven, 20-13. Despite back-and-forth action down the stretch, the Mountaineers fought back to claim the set by a 27-25 decision.
In the match against Ohio State, Thatcher led the way with six kills, while Schnepp posted 15 digs and Falcusan handed out 14 assists.
In the first set, Ohio State recorded 16 kills and hit at a .308 clip. The Buckeyes went on to record 18 kills in the middle set for the 25-18 win and then tallied 17 kills in the final stanza, a 25-14 victory, to close out the match.
The Wildcats continue play at the West Virginia Invitational on Saturday with a pair of matches against Towson (9:30 a.m.) and Valparaiso (5 p.m.).