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Bulldogs drop pair to Towson, St. John's in Hampton Inn-vitational

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University volleyball team played a pair of tough matchups to conclude the 2014 Hampton Inn-vitational, competing well despite 3-0 losses to Towson and St. John's at home on Saturday.

In the opener, the Bulldogs (1-3) put up a fight against a tough Towson (3-0) side that would finish the tournament in undefeated fashion, but the hard hitting of Saituau Iosia was too much for the Black and Gold, as the senior threw down 20 kills to pace the game.

Iosia was the only player on either team to register double-figure kills, leading the Tigers to 25-16, 26-17 and 25-21 straight-set wins.

Bryant was led by six kills apiece from sophomore all-tournament team selection Sara DePouw (Oconto, Wis.) and senior Elena Lohr (Loveland, Ohio), while junior libero Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) paced the game with 16 digs. Redshirt-freshman Vika Nesterov (Kfar Saba, Israel) posted 15 assists with seven digs, while rookie Alexandra Lunsford (Minneola, Fla.) recorded a match-best five blocks with two aces despite the loss.

Towson's Amiee Schubert picked up 26 assists and 13 digs for one of two Tiger double-doubles, with Paige Sekerak recording the other with 10 assists and 11 digs.

In the nightcap, the Black and Gold would again matchup with an undefeated side in the Red Storm (3-0). After St. John's broke a 9-9 tie in the early goings of the opening stanza, the Bulldogs never let their opponents get too far out in front. But a big solo block from Danisha Moss gave the visitors the lift they would need to take a 25-17 first-set victory.

In the second, St. John's charged out to an early 11-3 advantage, and Karin Palgutova would take the visitors on a run to 17-5 before a Lohr solo block put a halt to the momentum. But the deficit was too much to make up, and the Red Storm took a two-set lead in the match with a 25-11 win.

The third saw an even match through the opening points, with neither team leading by more than two until a 12-9 mark that favored the visitors. Back-to-back aces from Lohr closed the gap to 15-14, but St. John's scored the next eight straight for a 23-15 margin. The Red Storm would take the match, 3-0, two serves later with a 25-16 win.

Lohr led the Bulldogs on the match with eight kills, seven digs, three aces and two solo blocks, while Nesterov added 19 assists. DePouw recorded five kills. Palgutova picked up a match-best 17 kills and added a pair of aces for St. John's, while Aleksandra Wachowicz posted 11 kills, two aces and two blocks. Deniz Mutlugil dished out 30 helpers, and Shawna-Lei Santos picked up a contest-high 11 digs.

The Bulldogs finished the 2014 Hampton Inn-vitational 1-3 overall and saw DePouw named to the all-tournament team after totalling 32 kills, three aces and seven blocks on the four-match weekend. Bryant returns to action Tuesday night, hosting intrastate foe Providence College at the Chace Athletic Center at 7:00 p.m.


2014 Bryant Hampton Inn-vitational All-Tournament Team
Sara DePouw, Bryant
Carolyn Bockrath, Army
Saitaua Iosia, Towson
Ella Merrill, UMass Lowell
Karin Palgutova, St. John's
Shawna-Lei Santos, St. John's