SMITHFIELD, R.I. – With a match-best six blocks on the afternoon, Bryant University volleyball senior Maria Scocca (Melrose, Mass.) set a new program record for total blocks in a career Sunday afternoon in the 2011 home finale. The achievement set up a big day for the captain, who added an ace and 16 kills, but the Bulldogs couldn't complete their fifth-set comeback, falling to Saint Francis (PA), 3-2 at the Chace Athletic Center.
Scocca, already the program leader in career block assists, tied the all-time mark early on, collecting five first-set blocks, and put up her record 537th-career stuff in the fourth frame amid a big Bryant (13-17, 7-7 Northeast Conference) comeback.
It was a come-from-behind push the Bulldogs would complete to take a 25-17 fourth-frame win to knot the game at 2-2, thanks in part to a Kendall Gaffney (Colorado Springs, Colo.) six-point serving swing that brought Bryant out of a 15-12 deficit and into an 18-15 lead over the Red Flash (9-20, 4-10). The home side would go on to score 13 of the last 15 points in the stanza to force a deciding fifth set for the second time in as many days.
In the fifth, Saint Francis (PA) came out and took an early lead, holding onto the edge for a 14-11 score. But the Bulldogs shocked the Red Flash, rattling off the next three points to knot the game at 14-14. In the end, though, it was the visitors who would take home the victory, winning the final set, 17-15, for a 3-2 match win.
Senior Jazmin Stoner (Durango, Colo.) put up a match-high 17 kills to record her second-straight double-double after adding 12 digs. Scocca led the team with a .536 attack percentage on the day, while junior Jadith Lorenzo (Lawrence, Mass.) posted a double-double of her own with a team-high 18 digs and match-best 35 assists. Lorenzo also added a trio of aces on the day.
Four Red Flash players registered double-figure kills, paced by 14 apiece from Lauren Wingard and Elizabeth Williams. Libero Brittany Stambaugh dug up a contest-high 19 digs, while Breanna Kochinsky recorded the visitors' only double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs. Kochinsky also added three aces, while Leeanne Haus served up a match-high four to headline an impressive 15 aces from the Saint Francis (PA) serving ranks.
The loss snaps the Bulldogs' four-match winning streak entering the final weekend of 2011 play. The Black and Gold will wrap up their season on the road, first with a 1 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 12) bout at Long Island University and will play the finale Sunday (Nov. 13) at 3 p.m. against Fairleigh Dickinson.