FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team broke the 31st and final tie and initiated the 17th and final lead change of the match on a kill by senior Caryn Sibiskie (Rockfall) late in the deciding fifth set and the Warriors went on to complete a perfect weekend with non-conference victory over Framingham State University Saturday afternoon.
With three sets decided by two points, Eastern (8-4) emerged with a 25-23, 19-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13 comeback win over Framingham (7-6) after sweeping Anna Maria College (1-10) earlier in the day, 25-13, 25-9, 25-11.
The two Saturday victories gave the Warriors three wins in a span of less than 24 hours. Friday night, Eastern upended Little East Conference foe UMass Boston in straight sets for its first victory at the Clark Athletic Center in 15 years.
Neither team was able to lead by more than two points in the decisive set with Framingham. After the Rams took their final lead, 11-10, on an Eastern attack error, senior Leah Sopneski (Deep River) set, in succession,
sophomore Alaetra Long (Lincoln, NE), senior Sibiskie, and freshman Anna Barry (Andover) that pushed the Warriors into a 13-11 lead and forced a Framingham timeout. With Eastern leading, 13-12, Sopneski set Barry for the latter's team-leading 27th kill of the afternoon to move the Warriors to within match point. A Framingham kill off a serve by Eastern freshman Madison Bell (Salem) kept the Rams' hopes alive, before a match-ending service error gave Eastern the victory.
After the teams had split the opening sets, Framingham moved into a 2-to-1 lead on the strength of its two-point win in the third set. The Warriors squandered a six-point, 14-8 lead in that important set. The Warriors still led 17-15 before the hosts reeled off six in a row – the last three points coming off Eastern attack errors. The Warriors bounced back to extend the match to five with their eight-point victory in the fourth set, attacking at a blistering .421 clip (18 kills and only two errors). Behind senior Carly Balskus's (Hebron) five kills, five Eastern players contributed at least one kill without an error in the fourth set. Long also dug up nearly half (nine) of the team's 20 digs in that set and Sopneski was credited with nine assists.
On the day, Barry recorded her 27 kills with a .523 attack percentage, Balskus adding 19 kills and a .343 percentage and Sibiskie 14 kills with a .591 attack percentage. Long also chipped in 17 kills and Stern 14. Sopneski had 54 assists and had seven service aces, as did Stern, with Bell adding five. Long also topped the team with 23 digs, Stern adding 23 and Long commiting only one reception error on 25 attempts. Balskus complemented her kills with five blocks, Long totaling four.
Eastern returns home for the first time since Sept. 1 by hosting Western Connecticut Tuesday in a Little East contest at 7 p.m. at Geissler Gymnasium.