CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Lesley University rallied from an 0-2 match deficit to knock of second-place Newbury College, 3-2 (26-28, 19-25, 25-18, 25-17, 15-10), Sunday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference women's volleyball action at the Nicholas Athletics Center.
Danielle Johnson (Waterford, CT/Waterford) led all players with 22 kills on 60 attempts and completed her double-double with 12 digs. Megan Ortwein (Shanghai, China/American School) added 13 kills on 39 attempts to go along with 12 digs as the Lynx won for the fifth time in seven matches and end the regular season at 4-4 in NECC play, 9-15 overall.
Newbury's Regina Sibilia (Agwam, MA/Agwam) handed out a match-best 43 assists and Syndey Fish (Kalamazoo, MI/Paw Paw) totaled 10 kills on 19 attempts to lead all players with a .474 hitting percentage. Jessy Touron led the Nighthawks with 15 kills as her team finishes its regular season 14-17 and 6-2 in NECC play.
Thanks to two of Johnson's match-high four service aces, the Lynx started the day with an 11-5 lead in the opener and led all the way up until game point at 24-22. Lauren Watson's (Denver, CO/South) kill followed by errors from Ortwein and Johnson suddenly turned the momentum in Newbury's favor and gave the visitors a 25-24 lead. A Johnson kill tied the set at 26-26, but Fish answered with back-to-back kills to close out the Nighthawks 28-26 victory.
The Nighthawks got a pair of kills from Touron during a 6-0 run that sent the visitors out in front 8-2 to open Game 2, and a Touron service ace forced Lynx coach Tricia Lawler to call a timeout trailing 5-10. Newbury opened up a 18-11 lead on a Johnson error, but a Rachel Frederickson (Marston Mills, MA/Dennis-Yarmouth) service ace cut the Nighthawks lead to 22-19 before three straight Lynx errors closed out Newbury's 25-19 win.
On her senior day, Lesley rallied behind fourth-year outside hitter Kayla Henry, who was serving for a 7-0 run early in the third set that ultimately sparked the team's comeback win. After opening the middle set with a 10-3 lead, consecutive kills from Henry put the Lynx in front 17-9 as the team cruised to a 25-18 victory.
Until a late 10-0 run separated the Lynx, Game 4 was the closest set of the day. The teams battled for their ninth tie at 13-13 before a 4-0 Newbury run put the Nighthawks ahead by two, 15-13. Then came Lesley's 10-0 run with Henry at serve, as the Lynx pulled ahead 23-15 thanks to two kills each from Johnson and Ortwein in Lesley's 25-18 victory.
After a quiet first four sets, Lesley's Alyson Finbow (Fair Lawn, NJ/Fair Lawn) was undoubtedly the difference early in the deciding set. With the game tied at 8-8, Johnson and Ortwein stepped up, as a kill and service ace from the freshman and two kills from the junior sparked a 6-0 run that pulled Lesley out in front 14-8, and Johnson's 22nd kill of the day wrapped up a 15-10 win.
Henry turned in five kills, 14 digs and tied Johnson with a match-best four service aces in her final home match. Four of Finbow's eight kills came in the fifth set, and Frederickson led all players with 27 digs.
With the regular season in the books, the teams now await their playoff seedings. Lesley is expected to take on Bay Path in its quarterfinals matchup, while Newbury will grab the two-seed and a first round bye.