NORTON, Mass. - The Worcester State University volleyball team split a doubleheader Saturday at the Wheaton College Invitational. The Lancers opened the day falling 3-0 (25-11, 26-24, 25-18) to Bates, before rebounding with a 3-0 (25-8, 25-20, 25-15) win over Farmingdale State.
With the split, the Lancers move to 2-5 on the young season.
Bates College controlled the opening match of the day, and particularly so in the match's first set. The Bobcats hit .346 in the first set, while the Lancers -.069, to jump out an early 1-0 lead 25-11.
It appeared set two was headed in favor of the Lancers despite the early struggles, but a late rally gave the Bobcats a commanding 2-0 advantage. After a kill from Lancer freshman Natalie Gillis (Ashland, Mass.) ran the score to 23-20 Worcester State, Bates came back to score six of the next seven points to take all the wind out of the Lancers sails. Worcester State could not recover in set number three, and Bates picked up the victory in straight sets.
Gillis led the Lancers in the match with 10 kills, while senior Amari King recorded eight kills and nine digs in the defeat. Senior Megan Leavens (Storrs, Conn.) and sophomore Madison Kuzio (Franklin, Mass.) were both strong defensively for the Lancers in the loss, recording 12 digs each.
The Lancers were firing on all cylinders in their second match of the day, cruising to a 3-0 win over Farmingdale State to snap the four-match losing skid. In the opening set, Worcester State hit an astounding .480, jumping ahead 1-0 with a 25-8 set one victory. The Lancers cooled off in set two, hitting just .139 and recording 12 kills, but the Rams were suffering from severe struggles, with three kills and eight errors in the set for an attack percentage of -.156. After going ahead 2-0 in the second set, the Lancers put the match to rest with a 25-15 victory in set three.
The offense was by committee for the Lancers in the victory. Gillis led the way once again, recording eight kills, followed by senior Emily Carens (Northborough, Mass.) with seven kills, King with six kills, and juniors Stephanie Chapin (Hampden, Mass.) and Megan Johns (Burrillville, R.I.) with five kills each. King and junior Marissa Proia (Framingham, Mass.) were also sharp from the service line in the victory, recording four service aces each.
Next up for Worcester State, the Lancers will open up MASCAC play with a visit to Westfield State on Tuesday evening. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.