WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) racked up a match-high 22 kills and added five blocks to lead the University of New Hampshire volleyball team past the University of Hartford, 3-2, in the America East opener Saturday afternoon at the Reich Family Pavilion.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 2-15 overall and 1-0 in conference play while the Hawks drop to 9-8 on the season and 0-1 in the league. Set scores in the match were 25-21, 25-27, 26-24, 17-25 and 15-12.
In addition to Laquerre, senior Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.) added 15 kills and sophomore Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) recorded 14 kills for a .323 attack percentage. Senior Jessy Dick (Leftbridge, Alberta) led the way with a .438 attack percentage while junior Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.) posted a team-high 58 assists. Defensively, sophomore Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) registered a match-high seven blocks, while freshman Sam Henke (Millersville, Md.) and junior Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) recorded double-digit digs with 19 and 11, respectively.
In the first set, the Wildcats opened with a 9-2 lead to pave the way for an eventual 24-17 advantage. The Hawks made it interesting with four straight but UNH put it away at 25-21 for the early 1-0 match lead.
The teams were tightly contested in the second set as seven lead changes led up to a 24-24 even score. After trading points, the Hawks scored two straight to take the set at 27-25 and even the match at 1-1. Despite the set loss, the Wildcats recorded 19 kills and hit at a .400 clip.
New Hampshire answered back by taking the third set in another close contest. Hartford broke a 12-12 tie with four straight for the 16-12 lead, but the Wildcats roared back to even it up again at 18-18. After back-and-forth action the rest of the way, the teams were once again tied at 24-24, but this time the Wildcats took the final two points for the 26-24 victory.
In the fourth set, the squads were even at 14-14 but the Hawks ended the stanza with an 11-3 run to capture the set, 25-17, and force a deciding fifth set.
In that set, the Hawks jumped out to a 12-9 advantage, but the Wildcats ended the set with six straight to capture the 15-12 win and seal the victory.
The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Sept. 30 when they visit conference foe Providence College at 7 p.m.