CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Lesley University women's volleyball had their season and home opener spoiled with a 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21) setback to Salve Regina University tonight at the Nicholas Athletics Center in non-conference tilt.
Lesley sophomore Anny Abbruzzese (Croton on Hudson, N.Y.) paced the Lynx attack as she connected for 13 kills and 19 digs in the loss while sophomore Kaylee Deluga (Dennis, Mass.) had an impressive Lynx debut with 11 kills, four solo blocks, and a block assist on the night. Senior setter Emily Marden (Fremont, Calif.) set up the offense with 31 assists while classmate Danielle McDonald (Lilitz, Pa.) dug out 17 balls from her libero position.
Leading the way for the Seahawks was junior Kat Mendes (New Bedford, Mass.) as she led all players with 15 kills while sophomore Samantha Higgins (Coventry, R.I.) and senior Emily Lipinski (Hampden, Mass.) aided the offense with eight and seven kills, respectively. Sophomore Samantha Salwa (Ellington, Conn.) dished out a match-best 41 assists while senior libero Chrissy Fraga (Milford, Mass.) led all players with 21 digs on the defensive end.
The Seahawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match following a victory in a tightly contested opening set. Holding a slim 23-22 lead, Salve Regina received back-to-back kills from Higgins and Lipiski to take the first 25-22. Higgins powered the Seahawks attack in the first as she finished with five kills while Lipinksi, Mendes, and senior Mackenzie Donald (Point Please Beach, N.J.) added three apiece.
The two teams were knotted at 8-8 in the second before the hosts went on an 8-2 stretch to give them some breathing room with a 16-10 lead. The Lynx continued to streak as they went on to score seven of the next nine points to take a commanding 23-14 advantage before tying the match at 1-1 with the 25-17 set win. Abbruzzese was on fire in the second as she smashed five kills on seven attempts for a .714 hitting percentage in the set.
Salve Regina would jump out to a 9-2 edge and would never trail in the third as they reclaimed a 2-1 match lead with a 25-19 set win. The Seahawks received kills from six different players in the third and displayed strong defense at the net as they combined for four blocks on the Lynx in the set.
The fourth and final set was tight with eight lead changes and 13 ties throughout the set. Late in the set with the score even at 18-18, the Seahawks took advantage of a Lynx error followed by a ferocious slam by Salwa to give the guests a two point edge that they would not relinquish as they finished off the fourth with a 25-21 win to take the match 3-1.
The Lynx will return to their home court on Saturday when they host St. Joseph's College (Maine) at 1:00p while the Seahawks will open their home campaign with a tri-match against Rhode Island College and St. Joseph's College (L.I.) starting at 10:00a.