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Bryant sweeps UMass Lowell in home opener

Photo by Bryant Athletics/Jason Sullivan
Photo by Bryant Athletics/Jason Sullivan

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshmen Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Haley O'Brien (Milton, Mass.) made a strong first impression to the Chace Athletic Center crowd in their first home match as the Bryant University volleyball team swept UMass Lowell Wednesday afternoon.

Kennedy tallied 10 kills for her third double-digit kill total in four collegiate matches, while O'Brien hit .533 (8-0-15) with a pair of solo blocks, including one on match point.

Match Information
Bryant 3, UMass Lowell 0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-18)
Records: Bryant (3-1); UMass Lowell (0-4)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"We had a very balanced attack tonight. Our defense created our offense with gave Kirstyn Sperry an opportunity to run our middles. Haley O'Brien exploded in the middle which created seams for our outsides. Kristin Kingi was a vacuum on defense and the team communicated very well. It was a great team effort."

How it Happened

  • Set 1 – UMass Lowell won the first point of the match before Bryant ran off the next seven. The River Hawks would get back within three, but the Bulldogs opened the lead back up to win the set 25-18. Senior Kristin Kingi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) tallied four of her seven kills in the frame.
  • Set 2 – The River Hawks tied the set at 14 before a 5-0 run that included two kills and a block by Kennedy put Bryant up 19-14. The Bulldogs picked up points 23 and 24 on double touches by the River Hawk setter before an O'Brien kill won the set at 25-18.
  • Set 3 – Bryant took a 21-12 lead before UMass Lowell made things interesting and brought the set to 22-17. The Bulldogs would respond and clinched the match on a match-point solo block by O'Brien.

Stats/Notes                                                         

  • Kennedy led the Bulldogs with 10 kills on a .333 hitting percentage (10-2-24) while recording four digs and a block.
  • O'Brien hit .533 (8-0-15) with eight kills and two solo blocks.
  • Senior Kirstyn Sperry (Phoenix, Ariz.) tallied 28 assists and 10 digs for her fourth double-double in as many matches to open the year and 46th of her career. Sperry recorded three aces, extending her Division I program record to 131.
  • Sophomore Mackenzie Wild (Rochester, Mich.) notched five kills without an attack error (5-0-9) and added a solo block.
  • Kingi collected a team-high eight digs along with seven kills.
  • Bryant hit .333 in the match, while UMass Lowell hit .036. The Bulldogs have hit .300 or better in each of their last two matches.
  • The Bulldogs overcame 13 service errors in the match, tying the Division I program high for a three-set match. Bryant accrued 13 in the Oct. 1, 2013 win over Dartmouth.
  • Bryant improves to 37-4 (.902) at the Chace Athletic Center since the start of the 2015 season.
  • Head coach Theresa Garlacy improved her career win total to 497 with Wednesday's victory.
  • Bryant betters its record against UMass Lowell to 5-3 in the Division I era and 30-15 overall.

Up Next
Bryant will travel to the Bronx for the second tournament weekend of 2018, playing at Fordham's Rose Hill Classic. Friday's doubleheader starts with a noon match against Charlotte and will be followed by a 5 p.m. first serve against Marist.

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