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BULLDOGS DROP 3-2 HEARTBREAKER TO FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT

BULLDOGS DROP 3-2 HEARTBREAKER TO FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT

October 2, 2008

BULLDOGS DROP 3-2 HEARTBREAKER TO FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT

Boxscore

SMITHFIELD, RI - Despite an early two-set lead and a double-double from freshman Hilary Andrews (Tipp City, Ohio), the Bryant University volleyball team couldn't pull out a win Thursday night, dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to Northeast Conference opponent Fairleigh Dickinson University at the Chace Athletic Center.

The Bulldogs (11-7) took an early lead in the first set before the Knights (12-7) came back to tie it late in the game. The set remained knotted into extra points - 27-27 and 28-28 - before the rookie duo of Maria Scocca (Melrose, Mass.) and Jazmin Stoner (Durango, Colo.) came up with a big block that came before Stoner's game-winning kill for a 30-28 Bulldog victory in set one.

The second set was much of the same for the Bulldogs, who despite being down early, dug in to come back for a 25-21 win and a 2-0 match lead.

But Bryant errors spotted FDU a lead in the third set until a big ace down the line from Scocca and another kill tied the game at 15-15. The game stayed knotted until the Knights regained a 20-17 lead, thanks in part to two-straight service aces of their own. The Bulldogs would eventually find themselves down, 24-19, unable to come back as the Knights cut the deficit in half with a 25-19 victory.

The fourth set also saw the Bulldogs give up the early lead, down by as many as eight points after two-straight FDU aces that made the score 11-3. But a big kill from junior Morgan Wood (Cedar Park, Texas) and an FDU attack error brought the Bulldogs to within five, 20-15. And while Bryant cut their deficit to 21-17, they again couldn't recover from an early hole, falling again, 25-19, and allowing the Knights to know the match at 2-2.

But Bryant couldn't turn it around early in the fifth set either, going down quickly, 5-1. A timeout sparked the Bulldogs to close the gap, 6-4, and a huge kill from Stoner brought the home team within one, 8-7.

In the following play, Scocca nearly single-handedly led the Bulldogs back into the game, tying the set 9-9 with a thundering kill at the net before sneaking another kill in to give Bryant their first lead of the game. Scocca then teamed up with sophomore setter Miranda Kolb (Holt, Mich.) for a big block to give Bryant a two-point cushion.

Two more kills from Scocca - all of which set up by Kolb - saw Bryant keep a 13-11 lead before FDU managed to tie the game at 13-13. And while Bryant would knot it again at 14-14, those were the last points the home team would get, dropping the deciding set, 16-14.

Scocca led the Bulldogs with 17 kills and seven blocks, while Andrews registered her second consecutive and fourth double-double of the season with 16 kills and 14 digs. Stoner also cleared double-digits in kills, with 13. Senior co-captain Delia Glover (Marston Mills, Mass.) led the game in digs with 22, while Kolb recorded a game-high 36 assists.

The Knights were anchored by 33 kills from Lauren Boothby, who also picked up a team-high 19 digs. Ali Philbrick also picked up a double-double on the day, registering 10 kills and 15 digs.

The Bulldogs will hit the road again this weekend, travelling to the Keystone State where they will face Saint Francis (NY) and Robert Morris on RMU's campus, Sat., Oct. 4 before heading to Saint Francis (Pa.) for a Sunday matchup.