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Owl Comeback Falls Short in Fifth Set

Ainsley MacLeod swings for a kill (file photo)
Ainsley MacLeod swings for a kill (file photo)

WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Westfield State Owls volleyball team pushed Elms College to the brink but lost in five sets at the Woodward Center on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

The Owls dropped the first two sets before controlling play in the third (25-14) and clinging to an early eight point lead in the fourth (25-23) to force the final set.

In the decisive ender, a Sabrina Christie (Agawam, Mass./ Agawam) kill assisted by Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas/ St. Joseph) broke a 9-9 tie and the Blazers wouldn't look back. Stewart finished with 40 assists on the night.

Elms College was paced by Ayanna Meadows (Springfield, Mass./ Chicopee) who picked up a game-high 15 kills and 26 digs in the win. Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, Nev./ Bishop Gorman) added 11 kills and Kianna Lozada (Bayamon, P.R./ Emadrian Bilingual School) grabbed 26 digs for the Blazers.

Hanna Simpkins (Walpole, N.H./ Fall Mountain Regional) led the Owls with 12 kills, Brianna Starkey (Rockland/ Rockland) and Ainsley MacLeod (Hanpden/ Home School/ Minnechaug) chipped in nine a piece.

Defensively for the Owls, Jess Haradon (Mansfield/ Mansfield) had a match-high 28 digs while Starkey added five block assists.

The Owls fall to 0-12 with the loss and the Blazers improve to 7-3.

Both teams hit the road Saturday, Sept. 22 for conference matches, the Owls go to Bridgewater State and Elms heads to Newbury College.