PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A trio of 25-23 decisions spelled a hard-fought defeat for the Brown volleyball team against crosstown rival Providence College in non-league action at Alumni Hall on Wednesday. The narrow setback drops the Bears to 0-4 on the season while the Friars improve to 5-3 overall.
Junior Maddie Lord (La Jolla, Calif.) paced all attackers with 11 kills on the evening, while seniors Thea Derrough (La Jolla, Calif.) and Amanda Nickel (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) added eight and six kills, respectively. Freshman Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) handed out 19 assists for the second time in three matches, and senior Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, Calif.) led the Bears with 19 digs.
Providence spread its 33 kills among just five players, highlight by Kayla Fitzgerald with eight, who also led her team with 20 digs and four aces. Jordan Wiesler handled the setting with 27 assists and Lindsay Witt stood tall at the net with four block assists.
Brown took charge early in the first set and worked its way to a 16-8 lead, but the Friars mounted a vigilant rally that saw them score 14 of the next 20 points to tie it at 22-22. A pair of attack errors faced the Bears with set point and Witt put it away with a kill for the 25th point.
Both sides battled evenly through the midway point of the second set as Lord and the Friars' Mackenzie Ziegler traded kills seemingly at will. The teams first locked horns at 12-12 and scraped unwaveringly to a 23-23 deadlock. Nickel and freshman Payton Smith (Atherton, Calif.) teamed up for a crucial block to tie the game and give Brown the ball, but an errant serve followed by a Bears attack miscue handed Providence the final two points.
The hosts looked to close the books quickly on the third set by rushing to a 16-9 lead, capped by an 8-2 run before a Lord kill finally broke the Friar momentum. A trio of unanswered points suddenly thrust Brown back into contention, however, and the Bears then rattled off four straight points during junior Kathryn Conner's (Newport Beach, Calif.) serving turn to tie the game at 22-22. A Providence point was answered by a Smith kill to post a 23-23 score, but the hosts would once again outlast the visitors as Witt's spike sealed another Friar victory.
The Bears hit the court on Friday against Holy Cross at 7:30 p.m. in the first day of the Brown Invitational tournament.