WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Westfield State Owls volleyball team lost to the defending MASCAC champs, Worcester State, in straight sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) in the conference opener at the Woodward Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
The Owls fall to 0-8 (0-1 MASCAC) with the loss and the Lancers improve to 3-5 (1-0 MASCAC).
Senior Lancer setter, Allie Nolan (Melrose, Mass./ Melrose), fueled the offensive attack for Worcester handing out 41 assists while surpassing the 2,000 career mark late in the first set.
Owls' setter, Ally Rega (Chelmsford/ Chelmsford), tallied a double-double in the setback with 22 assists and 13 digs.
The Owls battled early in the match bringing the first two sets down to the wire. In the first, Westfield flipped an early 11-4 deficit into a 15-11 lead before Worcester knotted the game at 20-20. The Lancer's Lauren Murphy (Taunton, Mass./ Taunton) and Stephanie Chapin (Hampden, Mass./ Minnechaug) had back to back kills starting a five point rally to close out the set. Chapin and Murphy finished with 9 and 8 kills respectively.
The pivotal second set was a back and forth event that was tied 12 times with 8 lead changes. Natalie Gillis (Ashland, Mass./ Ashland) landed the final two kills of the set for Worcester in the two point win, she finished with seven kills on the night.
Lancer Amari King (Lawrence, Mass./ Presentation of Mary Academy) was the game leader in kills with 12 and added eight digs. Westfield's Brianna Starkey (Rockland/ Rockland) paced the Owls with nine kills.
Game leading defensive efforts came from Westfield's Jess Haradon (Mansfield/ Mansfield) and Worcester's Megan Leavens (Storrs, Conn./ Edwin O. Smith) who each finished with 15 digs.
Both teams will host matches Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7:00 p.m., the Owls entertain Mount Holyoke and Worcester State faces Lasell.