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Bulldogs play tough, fall to RMU in five

Photo by: Dave Silverman
Photo by: Dave Silverman

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Four Bulldogs finished with double-figure kills while senior Elena Lohr (Loveland, Ohio) and redshirt-freshman Vika Nesterov (Kfar Saba, Israel) each recorded double-doubles, but ultimately the Bryant University volleyball fell on the road at Robert Morris, 3-2, Sunday afternoon.

Lohr and rookie Natascha Scarff (Geneva, Switzerland) each posted a match-high 13 kills, with the former adding 14 digs. Sophomore Sara DePouw (Oconto, Wis.) and junior Taylor Onoyan (Crystal Lake, Ill.) chipped in 12 kills apiece despite the loss, also combining for six blocks, including four from Onoyan. The Bulldogs (9-21, 4-6 Northeast Conference) received contest-best efforts from Nesterov (46 assists with 11 digs) and junior libero Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) (29 digs), as well, while rookie Alexandra Lunsford (Minneola, Fla.) helped lead the defense with six blocks (9 kills).

The Colonials (12-15, 10-1) got 11 kills from Arden Fisher (18 digs) and Alena Esposito (4 blocks) and 10 more from Sydney Sizemore in the five-set affair. Brianna Frakes contributed 19 assists with 11 digs for her own double-double effort, while Hannah Hoffman's 22 assists marked a side best. Melissa Bograd registered 21 digs for the hosts.

Bryant opened the match on a strong note, taking a 25-19 victory for the early 1-0 lead. Robert Morris evened the score in the second, 25-16, before the Black and Gold took over their second advantage of the day, 25-15, in the third frame. But the Colonials came back in the fourth stanza, 25-20, forcing the decisive fifth set.

In the final session, the Bulldogs took an early 5-3 lead and maintained a one-point advantage, 7-6, after a kill from Lohr midway through the set. But three-straight Bryant attack errors handed Robert Morris a 9-7 lead it wouldn't relinquish despite a tough fight from the Bulldog ranks, as the Colonials closed out the 3-2 win, 15-12.

On the day, the Bulldogs hit at a higher clip than their hosts, .125 to .110, and edged the home side in both kills, 61-49, and digs, 75-73. The Colonials posted three aces to Bryant's two (DePouw, Nesterov) and outblocked the Black and Gold, 13-8.

Bryant returns to Smithfield for its final weekend at home Saturday and Sunday and will host LIU Brooklyn Saturday (1 p.m.) before a Sunday Senior Day matchup against St. Francis Brooklyn (1 p.m.).