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Bulldogs down Friars in three

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Redshirt-freshman setter Vika Nesterov (Kfar Saba, Israel) posted 31 assists and 12 digs while senior outside hitter Elena Lohr (Loveland, Ohio) tacked on a team-high 10 kills as the Bryant University volleyball team took a 3-0 victory over intrastate foe Providence College at home Tuesday night.

Lohr would also finish the match with 12 digs for the team's second double-double of the match, while junior libero Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) paced the contest with 21 digs and added a pair of service aces, including one to tie the third set at 23-23 despite the Bulldogs (2-3) trailing the Friars (0-4) all frame. Rookie Cassandra Sulmeisters (Centennial, Colo.) also served up two big aces, while reigning Molten/NEC Rookie of the Week Alexandra Lunsford (Minneola, Fla.) posted a career-best seven blocks.

Behind seven kills from Lohr and four blocks from both Lunsford and junior Taylor Onoyan (Crystal Lake, Ill.), the Bulldogs took a 25-17 win in the opening frame. A second-stanza 25-18 win saw a more spread out offense, paced by a trio of kills from rookie Kiley Robbins (Garland, Texas) and nine assists and eight digs from Nesterov.

But in the third, the Friars took off to a 4-0 lead thanks to the serving of Kelly Ashmore and held a lead on the hosts through nearly the full set. PC was up by as many as six at 16-10 and again at 18-12, but Sulmeisters would serve consecutive Bulldog points to cut the lead to 18-14. A Jocelyn Taylor (Marlborough, Conn.) kill brought Bryant within two, 20-18, before the Friars pulled away again, 23-19.

A bad set on the Friars turned the serve over to Magalhaes at 23-20, and the junior transfer would get a PC attack error, a Sara DePouw (Oconto, Wis.) kill and her own ace to knot the game at 23-23. And while the Friars would take one more lead at 24-23, another DePouw kill followed by back-to-back hitting errors by the visitors gave the Bulldogs the 26-24 set-three win and a 3-0 match victory.

On the night, Bryant hit at a .160 clip with 37 kills and 66 digs. The home side put up 10 team blocks to the Friars' one.

The Black and Gold will now hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Ohio for the Akron Invitational Sept. 5-6. Bryant will play the hosts Friday, Sept. 5 at 12:30 p.m. to kick off the weekend.