WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College women's volleyball team began their New England Collegiate Conference Championship defense with a 3-1 (25-9, 18-25, 25-10, 25-20) victory over Bay Path University on Tuesday night in Weston, Mass. The Pride have won four-straight to improve to 12-9 overall and 1-0 in the NECC, while Bay Path drops to 6-7 and 1-1 in league matches.
Current NECC Rookie of the Week Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas) led the Pride attack with a match-high 14 kills with a .667 hitting percentage. Nicole Connolly (San Mateo, Calif.) added 10 kills, eight digs, and three aces in the victory.
The Pride jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match by cruising to a 25-9 win in the opening set. Connolly and Sydney Trusty (Durham, Conn.) posted three kills apiece in the set, and combined for five service aces, while Regis took advantage of nine Bay Path errors.
The Wildcats used a pair of errors by the Pride to take an early 3-1 lead in the second set before grabbing an 11-9 advantage on an Elizabeth Haylette (Terryville, Conn.) block and another Regis miscue. The Pride took a 12-11 lead with a Connolly service ace, but the Wildcats responded with a 5-0 run capped off by a Lexi Cears (Agawam, Mass.) service ace to take a 15-12 lead.
Bartels would get the Pride as close as 16-14 with a kill, but Bay Path scored four-straight points to jump out to a 20-14 lead. Another Connolly kill helped Regis climb to within 23-18 and force a Bay Path timeout, but another Regis error followed by a Lauren Vallee (Bristol, Conn.) kill helped Bay Path tie the match at 1-1 with a 25-18 win in game two.
Regis jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the third set and never looked back, building a lead as large as 21-7 en route to the 25-10 win. Rachel Bartels knocked down four kills in the third game, while Crystina Lahtrop (Houston, Texas), Jackie Silver (West Hills, Calif.) and Connolly each had two kills apiece. The Pride used another six service aces in the set as well.
The Pride carried the momentum in to the fourth game as they took a 5-0 lead and forced a Bay Path timeout. Out of the break, Taylor Heinbokel (Agawam, Mass.) knocked down a kill and then served four-straight service aces to tie the game at 5-5. The two teams traded points before back-to-back aces from Emily DeBarros (Brockton, Mass.) put Regis on top 14-8. The Wildcats would get to within four at 24-19, but Bartels ended the match with her 14th kill of the game to wrap up the 3-1 win.
Sydney Trusty and Jackie Silver added five kills apiece, while Trusty led the Pride defense with 15 digs. Crystina Lathrop handed out a match-high 28 assists to go with a pair of kills, eight digs, and five service aces.
Bay Path was led by seven kills and eight digs from Lauren Vallee. Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Mass.) added five kills, while Jennifer Pham (Springifeld, Mass.) and Elizabeth Haylette had three kills apiece. Haylette added a team-high 11 digs, while Joanne Nazario (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in 10 digs of her own. Lexi Cears handed out 19 assists and five digs, with Taylor Heinbokel posting five service aces.
The Crimson and Gold return to action on Friday night when they take on Daniel Webster College in an NECC match scheduled for 4:00 p.m., before taking on Western Connecticut State University at 6:00 p.m. Bay Path travels to Lesley University on Saturday afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. meeting with the Lynx.