KINGSTON, R.I. – Senior Amanda Nickel (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) posted a career-high 17 kills but the Brown volleyball team could not outlast Rhode Island in a 3-2 setback at Keeaney Gym on Wednesday. The Bears (4-8) worked a 2-1 lead after three sets but the Rams (9-7) rallied to win in five (25-15, 23-25, 20-25, 25-15, 16-14).
Senior Thea Derrough (La Jolla, Calif.) reached double digits with 10 kills, while junior Maddie Lord (La Jolla, Calif.) and freshman Payton Smith (Atherton, Calif.) finished with nine and eight kills, respectively. Junior Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, Cailf.) recorded a game-high 15 digs and senior Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, Calif.) notched 12 digs to lead a group of four Bears to register at least 10. Junior Maryl Vanden Bos (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) led Brown with 19 assists and freshman Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added 17 helpers.
For Rhode Island, Frankl Darnold smashed a match-best 20 kills and Catie Steffen added 15 as the duo combined for an aggressive 99 attack attempts. Callan Kinnan dished out 51 assists to eclipse the 500 career assists mark just 16 matches into her freshman career, and Layne Self played both ends of the floor with 10 kills and six blocks.
After dropping set one, 25-15, the Bears held on for a 25-23 victory in set two after a Brown timeout quieted a Rhode Island rally and sophomore Shannon Frost (Santa Ana, Calif.) applied the deciding kill. The third set played out evenly until Smith cracked an ace to help Brown take a 16-13 lead and slowly pull away to a 25-20 margin.
The Rams turned things around and doubled up Brown, 12-6, on a pair of kills by Self en route to a 10-point win in set four to tie the match at 2-2. Neither side relented in the winner-take-all round as the teams went point-for-point until a Ram kill and a Bears attack error gave the two winning points to the hosts.
The Bears begin a four-match home stand on Friday when they host Ivy League opponent Dartmouth at 7 p.m.