PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown (4-5) played back-to-back games on the first day of the Brown Invitational at the Pizzitola Center and went 1-1, picking up a straight sets victory over Holy Cross (5-9) and losing a close battle with Rhode Island (7-3) in five games. On the day, senior Brianna Williamson (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the team with 26 kills and freshman Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, Calif.) totaled 77 assists.
In match one against URI, the Bears jumped out to early one game to none lead with a 25-15 victory in the first set. The Rams were able to recover however, and took set two 25-22.
Set three began highly contested as the teams traded points until the 7-all mark. The Brown offense then exploded, going on a 10-2 run on the strength of kills from Williamson, senior Danielle Vaughan (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and sophomore Katrina Post (Pasedena, Calif.). The Bears controlled the rest of the set to take the 25-16 win and a two games to one lead.
Rhode Island came out strong in the fourth set, jumping out to a 7-1 advantage. Brown closed within four at the 11-7 mark on a kill from Rieckhoff but could not get any closer. The Rams forced a fifth set and did not allow the Bears to take the lead again. Back-to-back kills from Post tied the deciding game at five but the URI combo of Kayla Wilson and Britta Baarstad closed the door on Brown.
The Bears rebounded well with just 45 minutes in between matches, as the squad was able to shake off a tough loss to take three straight sets from the Crusaders.
Williamson, freshman Thea Derrough (LaJolla, Calif.), and freshman Emma Pastore (Los Angeles, Calif.) all had eight-plus kills in match number two, while Rieckhoff, junior Annika Gliottone (Warwick, R.I.) and sophomore Carly Cotton (Newport Beach, Calif.) all added double-digit digs.
Brown took the first two sets by identical 25-19 scores and capped off its victory with a 25-21 win in game three.
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 p.m. when they face Central Connecticut State. The squad will then face Boston College in the final game of the Invitational at 7:30 p.m.
Pictured: Setter Alexandra Rieckhoff '13