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Bulldogs sweep Knights behind Nesterov double-double

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Redshirt-freshman setter Vika Nesterov (Kfar Saba, Israel) posted her second-consecutive double-double and added six blocks to lead the Bryant University volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson at home Sunday afternoon.

Nesterov posted 16 assists with 14 digs, complimenting her 13th-career double-double with five kills and six stuffs (1 solo). Rookie Natascha Scarff (Geneva, Switzerland) paced the Bulldogs (8-18, 4-3 Northeast Conference) on offense with nine kills, adding nine digs, three blocks and two aces, while classmate Kiley Robbins (Garland, Texas)  has a big day of her own with eight kills and a pair of blocks.

Defensively, junior libero Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) posted a match-leading 23 digs while rookie Alexandra Lunsford (Minneola, Fla.) paced the tilt with seven blocks (1 solo) and added six kills. Junior setter Jana Kmec (Stratford, Conn.) led the contest with 19 assists (7 digs).

FDU (4-17, 2-5) was led by 11 kills from Carly O'Sullivan, who also picked up a team-high 12 digs. Libero Deborah Hong added 12 digs of her own, while Allison Butler dished out 17 assists with seven digs and three blocks.

The Bulldogs never trailed in the opening set, taking an 22-14 lead into FDU's final timeout of the frame before the Knights rattled off four-straight points to close the gap to 22-18 and force a Bryant timeout. The visitors would score just once more, however, with sophomore Sara DePouw (Oconto, Wis.) (5 kills) netting the final point to take the set, 25-19.

The second saw the Knights knot up an early Bryant lead at 13-13 and take over the advantage, 19-18, on Bulldog attack error. The Black and Gold fought back to tie it at 19-19, 22-22 and 23-23, though, before taking a 24-23 advantage on an FDU error. A Kmec kill assisted by Scarff would push the Bulldogs over the edge with a 26-24 victory for 2-0 match lead.

And in the third, it was all Bryant, with four kills from Lunsford leading the way as the hosts rushed out to a 14-6 advantage that couldn't be caught, eventually sweeping the Knights in three sets with a 25-13 victory in the third and final frame.

On the day, Bryant outhit FDU, .171 to -.020, and outblocked its opponent, 12-5. The Black and Gold held the advantage on digs, 63-51, and kills, 41-23, as well.

The Bulldogs will look to extend their current three-match winning streak on Saturday, Oct. 25, when they host Central Connecticut at the Chace Athletic Center at 5:00 p.m.