HARTFORD, CONN. – The Westfield State women’s volleyball team split their Saturday matches against Eastern Conneticut University and Trinity College to end the weekend with a 1-2 record at the Trinity Invitational.
The Owls suffered a tough 3-2 setback to Clark University on Friday to begin the weekend before splitting the matches on Saturday.
Game 1 – Clark 3, Westfield 2
The Owls fought hard, losing a close battle with Clark in the fifth set, 15-11, to open the tournament. Ashley Crowley (Billerica, Mass.) and Brianna Starkey (Rockland, Mass.) led the way with 17 and 13 kills, respectively. Setter Ally Rega (Chelmsford, Mass.) posted 41 assists, tying her career-high mark set last year against MCLA in the MASCAC tournament. Senior Lizzie Taylor (Medfield, Mass.) added 40 digs, while Jess Haradon (Mansfield, Mass.) chipped in 30 of her own in the losing effort.
After the two teams were tied at one set a piece, the Cougars took the third set, despite a Westfield State comeback that erased an 18-9 deficit late in the set. The Owls stormed back and took the fourth set to tie the match, but it was Clark who pulled away and took the match, 15-11, after the two teams were tied at eight in the final set.
Game 2 – Westfield 3, Eastern Conn. 0
Westfield took this match in straight sets, but it was no easy feat. After grabbing the first set 25-16, the Owls were taken down to the wire in the next two sets, edging out the Warriors 25-22 and 25-23 to win the match.
Senior Natasha Belardo (Springfield, Mass. / Holyoke) had 18 digs in the winning effort, while Ashley Crowley continued her dominant play on the net, contributing another 17 kills. Rega posted another strong game with 35 assists.
Game 3 – Trinity 3, Westfield 0
The Bantams took this one in straight sets, but the Owls made it very difficult as they lost by no more than four points in each set.
Senior captain Brianna Starkey took the reigns, giving the Owls a team-high 10 kills, while Taylor had a team-high 21 digs to keep her on a good pace to hit 1,500 before the end of her career.
Up next for the Owls, Westfield travels up to Mount Holyoke College to take on the Lyons this coming Thursday at 7:00 p.m.