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Bulldogs fall to league-leading LIU Brooklyn in three

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Sophomore middle blocker Sara DePouw (Oconto, Wis.) and reigning rookie of the week Natascha Scarff (Geneva, Switzerland) each posted nine kills to lead the Bryant University volleyball team, but the Bulldogs couldn't hand LIU Brooklyn its first Northeast Conference loss, falling on the road to the Blackbirds, 3-0, Saturday afternoon.

Scarff added nine digs while DePouw led the match with three blocks for the Bulldogs (5-18, 1-3 NEC). Junior Taylor Onoyan (Crystal Lake, Ill.) also contributed a trio of blocks with two assists and two kills, while setter Vika Nesterov (Kfar Saba, Israel) added four kills to a team-leading 17 assists with six digs. Junior libero Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) paced the Black and Gold defensively with 10 digs on the afternoon.

Annika Foit paced LIU Brooklyn (13-5, 4-0) and the match with 14 kills, adding nine digs to her effort. Nicole Okeke added nine more kills, while Adriana Vinas Joy led the tilt on defense with 18 digs. Vera Djuric's 36 assists marked a match best and came along with nine digs of her own. Okeke posted a team-best two blocks for the hosts, who got four aces on the contest to the Bulldogs' two.

The Bulldogs kept the sets close, falling 25-16, 25-22 and 25-20, but were outhit, .120 to .278 on the day. Bryant outblocked its opponent, but the hosts led the way on defense as well with 45 team digs to the visitors' 39.

The Bulldogs return to action Sunday afternoon against St. Francis Brooklyn (1 p.m.) and will look for their second conference win of the year.