Osborne and Sylvester collect 16 digs each in non-conference setback
Fitchburg, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University women's volleyball team dropped a tough 3-1 decision to the University of Saint Joseph (CT) Blue Jays in non-conference action this evening at the Parkinson Gymnasium.
Score: Fitchburg State 1, Saint Joseph 3 (17-25, 13-25, 28-26, 19-25)
Records: Fitchburg State (2-12) | Saint Joseph (7-7)
In the opening set, Saint Joseph's took a 9-4 advantage on a kill from senior Janell Molina (Honolulu, Hawaii/Taft College) before the Falcons rallied to cut the deficit to 23-17 on a pair of points off of serves by sophomore Lauren Riccardi (Tewksbury, Mass./Tewksbury). The Blue Jays secured the first set however as freshman Hannah Benson (Terryville, Conn./Home Schooled) responded with a kill off a set by senior Brenna Miller (McCeary, Wash./Grays Harbor CC), resulting in the 25-17 first set final.
In the second set, the Blue Jays raced out to an early 15-4 margin with Miller leading the way for the visitors with four assists. Fitchburg State answered back as sophomore Amy Coelho (Bellingham, Mass./Bellingham) converted three straight points for the Green and Gold to make the score 20-11, but Saint Joseph's would take the second set by a score of 25-13.
In the third set, Saint Joseph's grabbed a 6-1 margin following a kill by sophomore Aminah Tsonga (Plainville, Conn./Dean College), but the Falcons battled back to knot the score at 26-26 after an attack error. Fitchburg State secured the third set victory as senior Kristina Osborne (Ashby, Mass./North Middlesex) converted back-to-back points on the serve to give the Falcons a 28-26 victory to force a fourth set.
In the final set, the Falcons would take a 6-2 edge to start the set on a service ace from Coelho before the Blue Jays grabbed the lead (18-10) after service ace by Miller. Fitchburg State cut the deficit to 23-19 on a kill from senior Nicole Sylvester (Everett, Mass./Everett), but Saint Joseph sealed the victory with a kill from Tsonga, resulting in the 25-19 fourth set final.
Inside the Numbers
This evening's contest will mark just the second ever meeting between the two squads on the volleyball court with the Falcons currently 0-2 all-time when taking on the Blue Jays.
The University of Saint Joseph won the first matchup with Fitchburg State, 3-0 last season at O'Connell Center.
The Falcons were led by Coelho with a team best nine assists, two service aces, one kill and four digs, while Sylvester added 16 digs, four kills and one assisted block.
Osborne was solid strong for the Green and Gold, collecting 16 digs, six kills, two service aces and two blocks.
For the Blue Jays, Miller registered a game-leading 37 assists, five service aces, 13 digs and two kills, while Molina finished with 30 digs, three kills and three assists for the visitors.
Falcons will host the Bulldogs of Dean College on Thursday for a non-conference tilt, starting at 7:00 PM. Blue Jays will travel to Rivier University on Saturday for a GNAC matchup with an 11:00 AM start.