September 17, 2011

2011 Brown Invitational Co-Champions: Bears Power Past Bryant 3-0

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  – Thanks large in part to All-Tournament selections Maddie Lord (La Jolla, Calif.) and Alexandra Rieckhoff (Lagunna Beach, Calif.), Brown downed local rival Bryant 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 26-24) in the final game of the 2011 Brown Invitational to earn a share of the tournament title with Maryland-Eastern Shore. Both the Bears (4-6) and UMES went 2-1 at the invite. 

Despite a close start to the first set it was all Brown to begin the match as the Bears opened up an 11-6 lead after back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Emma Pastore (Los Angeles, Calif.). The Bears held the five-point advantage until the 20-15 mark and finished even stronger, scoring the next five points to close out the frame with a 10-point lead.

Bryant actually held the lead at 10-9 in the second, and stayed with the Bears, holding the advantage at 18-16, but Bruno was able to swing the momentum, scoring three-straight points to to force a Bulldog timeout. Brown continued to roll even after the break, closing out the set on a 6-3 run to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

It would not be an easy third set as the frame advanced past the 25-point mark. Brown did hold an early 12-9 lead, but Bryant fought back to tie it up at 24-all. Brown remained poised however, getting big performances out of some young players as rookies Lord and Taylor Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) put down back-to-back kills to help Brown to its first straight-set victory of the year.

Match highs were all on the side of the Bears as senior co-captain and libero Annika Gliottone (Warwick, R.I.) (23 digs), Rieckhoff (27 assists) and Lord (11 kills) all set top marks.

The take on another in-state rival on Wednesday, September 21st when the squad travels to URI at 7 p.m. Bruno begins its Ivy League slate on Saturday, September 24th at Yale.