NEW LONDON, CT -- Lesley battled to force a fifth set but the host Mariners scored five of the match's last six points in earning a 3-2 win Saturday in NECC women's volleyball play.
NECC Rookie of the Week Danielle Johnson turned in her finest performances to date. The Connecticut native totaled match-highs of 19 kills and 50 attempts, adding 11 digs and a block assist. Fellow freshman Alyson Finbow also posted a career high in the kills department, knocking seven on 16 attempts for a team-best .312 hitting percentage, adding seven digs and four service aces.
Setter Kaitlyn Miller handed out 16 assists to go along with seven kills and an ace as the Lynx fell to 4-13 and 1-3 in the NECC.
For the Mariners, Bianca Young led the way with 11 kills on 24 attempts, good for a .333 hitting percentage.
The Lynx got off to a hot start in their Game 1 win, jumping out to a 10-5 lead and forcing a Mariners timeout. Mitchell used a 10-5 run of its own to get within a point, at 16-15, finally tying the contest at 20-20 and forcing a Lesley timeout after a Lynx service error.
Lesley had a chance to put the Mariners away, but a Lynx service error tied the contest at 25-25. Mitchell's Marie Connelly returned the favor with a set error, then Finbow closed out the 27-25 win with her second kill of the set.
Mitchell sped out to a pair of 7-1 leads in winning Games 2 and 3 by the scores of 25-22 and 25-10. After hitting only .030 in dropping the opening set, the Mariners hit .261 and .400, respectively, in taking the next two sets.
The Mariners opened up another early lead with Emily Stracizzi at serve, going ahead 4-0 in Game 4. Johnson anchored a 10-5 Lynx run that tied the contest 10-10, and another Johnson kill and her first ace of the night opened up Lesley's first lead and forced a Mitchell timeout at 15-13. Johnson's Lynx came out even stronger out of the timeout, finishing the set on a 15-6 run to take an easy 25-19 win.
Lesley found itself in another early hole in the deciding set but battled back yet again. Tricia Lawler's club responded with 10-4 run highlighted by four more kills from Johnson, the last of which tied the contest at 10-10.
The Lynx couldn't grasp the lead. Connelly and Stracizzi kills forced a Lawler timeout with the Mariners ahead 12-10, and two more Mitchell kills and a Lynx error locked up the home team's 15-11 win.
Mitchell gets back to the .500 mark at 6-6 and 1-4 in conference, while Lesley falls to 4-13 and 1-3 in NECC play.
Johnson and the Lynx return to play on Wednesday at 7:30, playing host to Southern Vermont.