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Women's Volleyball: Roger Williams Slips Past Host Warriors in Three Close Sets

Women's Volleyball: Roger Williams Slips Past Host Warriors in Three Close Sets

WILLIMANTIC, Conn.  – Grace Kenningham had a match-high 13 kills with only one error and Emiley Melillo had 37 assists and seven block assists to pace the Roger Williams University women's volleyball team to a three-set non-conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Scores were 25-21, 25-23, 25-22.

The win extends Roger Williams' (6-2) win streak against Eastern (6-2) to four straight. The Warriors have dropped six straight sets after opening the season by winning their first 12 sets.

Melillo, 6-foot-4 inch Molly Quilty and Jill McManaman combined for 18 of the Hawks' 22 block assists, which accounted in part for Eastern's attack percentage of .176. Following Melillo, Quilty had six block assists and McManaman five. Lara LoIacono added ten kills and a .381 attack percentage for Roger Williams, with libero Meghan Chartier and Nicki Fallisi each digging 13 balls.

Eastern freshman Alaetra Long (Lincoln, NE) shared match-high kill honors with Kenningham, but attacked at only .176, while freshman Abby Stern (Manchester) followed with 11 assists but only a .148 attack percentage.  Michelle Valliere (Lebanon) led Eastern with 11 digs, Leah Sopneski (Deep River) and Mckenzie Maneggia (Andover) combining for 31 assists. Additional freshmen making significant contributions were Lauren Notholt (Milford) and Sydney Chomicz (Clinton). Notholt had nine kills with only one error on 25 attempts and Chomicz five kills with only one error on 12 tries.

Trailing 10-8 in the first set, the Hawks outscored Eastern 8-1 to gain the momentum with a 16-11 lead. The Warriors never trailed in the second set – leading by five throughout most of the first half – until the Hawks finally surged ahead, 19-18, for the first time, and never trailed thereafter. Eastern also had the lead throughout most of the third set – moving out to a six-point lead at one point – and took a two-point lead into the latter stages of the set, but Roger Williams erased a 22-20 deficit by scoring the final five points.

Eastern played the match without senior setter Amanda Tourjee (Waterford) and junior middle hitter Jackie Orlowski (Woodstock).

Eastern opens its Little East Conference season Saturday, hosting Keene State College at noon and hosting Salve Regina University in a non-conference match at 4 p.m.