SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England University volleyball team recovered from an opening set loss to defeat Mount Holyoke College, 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-13, 25-23), on Thursday evening in non-conference action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
Senior outside hitter Alona Kornberg (Fair Lawn, N.J.) led the Golden Bears in both kills (11) and digs (18) to go with four aces. Classmate Sam Heffer (Bethpage, N.Y.) also recorded 11 kills, while sophomore Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) posted a double-double with 11 kills and ten digs. First year setter Jenna McCormack (Nashua, N.H.) tallied a season-high 39 assists, nine digs and six aces.
For the Lyons, sophomore outside hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute) paced the Lyons, hitting .450 with ten kills and three blocks, while junior libero Cameron Graham (Sarasota, Fla./The Out of Door Academy) posted a match-high 21 digs and freshman setter Brayden Walden (McKinney, Tex./McKinney North) totaled 27 assists, ten digs and two block assists.
Western New England hit .000 with 14 attack errors in the opening set en route to a six-point loss. With the second set tied 19-19, the Golden Bears won five straight points with two kills each from Matthews and sophomore middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) to go up 24-19, before eventually closing out the frame with a Mount Holyoke attack error. Four service aces by McCormack helped Western New England establish an early 6-0 lead over the Lyons in the third set. The Golden Bears never relinquished their advantage and went on to win by 12 points to claim a 2-1 set lead.
Needing a fourth set win to force a fifth frame, the Lyons used a late 3-0 run to take a 22-19 lead. The Golden Bears battled back to tie the score at 22, however, and after falling behind 23-22, they sealed the win with three straight points. Freshman Katara Mullet (Pittsfield, Mass.) closed it out with a service ace following a kill by Kornberg and a Mount Holyoke attack error.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, as Western New England (11-10) travels to Norton, Mass. for a tri-match with Wheaton College and UMass Dartmouth, and Mount Holyoke (7-8) plays at Bard.