PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown University women's volleyball team (7-16, 3-10 Ivy) played to a three set win over Dartmouth (2-21, 1-12 Ivy) Friday night at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Bears struck early, with aggressive play from the start of the first set, and continued to deny Dartmouth any chance of a comeback as they controlled the match from start to finish.
While the win was undoubtedly a team effort, several of Brown's players posted exceptional numbers in the first match of the weekend. The Big Green could not find an answer for outside hitter Maddie Lord (La Jolla, CA), as she hit .500. The sophomore tallied a match-high, 13 kills, coupled with a service ace. Sophomore libero Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, CA) continues to climb up the list of Brown's season digs records, adding a match-high of 19 to her season total. Junior Amanda Nickel (Corona Del Mar, CA) hit .566 in tonight's action, tallying nine kills, while Katrina Post (Pasadena, CA), a senior outside hitter, was impressive with seven kills, four service aces and nine digs. Additionally, both Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, CA) and Rachele Killian (Laguna Beach, CA) were at the top of the assists category, with Killlian notching 13 and Rieckhoff recording a match-high of 20.
Brown took the lead early in the first set, going on a seven-point streak after Dartmouth took the first point of the game. Halfway through the set they led the Big Green, 13-3. Dartmouth pushed back, however, sparking some lengthy rallies between the two teams, but never came within five points of the Bears. Brown extended the lead to 23-14 on a kill by Nickel before taking the set, 25-14, on a serving error by Dartmouth.
The second set saw more equal play, with the teams exchanging leads early. Dartmouth built an 8-4 cushion before Brown, which hit .387 as a team in the set, came storming back with a six-point streak, tying the set on a block before surging ahead to a 10-8 lead. Dartmouth played a tough game, coming to within a point late in the set, but Brown used a time-out to shift the tide, winning the set, 25-19, on a service ace by Post.
The match concluded with an explosive set by the Bears, as they used aggressive blocking to stop Dartmouth's attempts to attack. The Big Green led only once in the set, 4-3, before another six-point streak took Brown to a 13-6 lead. Two consecutive kills by Post and Nickel dashed Dartmouth's hopes, as Brown scored the last seven points of the set, taking the 25-16 victory on a service error.
Dartmouth ended the night with a .118 hitting percentage. Alex Schoenberger gave the Bears considerable trouble throughout the match, tallying a team-high, 10 kills.
"I thought the setters did a good job mixing the ball around," said Brown's head coach Diane Short. "Maddie hit really well today, as did Amanda, and we had some great digging by Kathryn Conner. We served pretty consistently, and it was a good win for us."
The Bears take to the court tomorrow for their last game of the 2012 season. They will face the Harvard Crimson at 5:00pm in the Pizzitola Center. At the conclusion of tomorrow's match, the team will honor its four graduating seniors.