SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University volleyball team returns to the Chace Athletic Center Tuesday night to host America East foe the University of New Hampshire at 7:00 p.m.
Coming off a 1-3 outing at the Akron Invitational that ended with a 3-1 win over Binghamton, the Bulldogs (3-6) will look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season against the Wildcats (2-4).
Led by 74 kills from Tori Forrest, UNH enters Smithfield hitting .202 as a team in 2014 and averages 12.7 kills per set enter the match. Brenna Buckwalter and Abby Brinkman each boast 45 kills, with the former's .286 attack percentage tops on the team.
Taylor Dunklau handles the setting duties and averages 10 assists per frame, and is also among the team's top servers with seven aces on the season. Forrest leads the way with nine and just a single error, while Madison Lightfoot – the squad leader on defense with 99 digs – also has seven service aces in six matches.
A trio of Wildcats enter the contest with double-digit blocks, paced by 22 from Cassidy Croci (2 solo) and 15 by Demi Muses (1 solo). Brickman adds 12 kills to her top hitting numbers.
The Bulldogs enter their second non-tournament matchup of the year hitting just .153 as a team. Sophomore middle blocker Sara DePouw (Oconto, Wis.) has earned all-tournament team selections each of the last two weekends and is a team leader on the attack with a .314 hitting percentage and 72 kills. It is outside hitter Elena Lohr (Loveland, Ohio), however, who leads the side on the kill with 90 (3.00/set). The senior captain also paces the squad on the serve (9 aces) and is second overall with 84 digs.
Lohr also contributes 10 blocks as one of six Black and Gold players to register double digits at the net. That group is led by rookie Alexandra Lunsford (Minneola, Fla.), who has 23 blocks in 25 sets played and also ranks third on the side with 41 kills. DePouw adds 17 stuffs to her strong offensive numbers, while junior Taylor Onoyan (Crystal Lake, Ill.) is right behind with 15. Rookie Kiley Robbins (Garland, Texas) has 10 blocks to go along with 32 kills, while redshirt-freshman setter Vika Nesterov (Kfar Saba, Israel) boasts 14 blocks and 25 kills to compliment her 7.77 assists per set (233 assists) and 70 total digs. Junior libero Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) paces the defense with 144 digs (4.80/set).
All-time, the Bulldogs are 2-2 against the Wildcats and will be looking to sway the series in their direction at home. Tuesday's match will be broadcast live and free-of-charge on NECFrontRow.com.