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Owls' Volleyball Tops Trailblazers, 3-1

Lynn Shattuck tallied 16 digs in Owls' conference win.
Lynn Shattuck tallied 16 digs in Owls' conference win.

WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Westfield State Owls volleyball team defeated the MCLA Trailblazers in four sets (26-28, 25-17, 25-18, 25-23)  at the Woodward Center on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The match was the conference opener for both teams as the Owls move to 5-5 overall and 1-0 in the MASCAC, MCLA slips to 5-4 overall and 0-1.

Hanna Simpkins (Walpole, N.H./ Fall Mountain) and Brianna Starkey (Rockland/ Rockland) paced the Owl offense with 14 kills each. Starkey posted a blistering .419 hitting percentage on the night.

The opening set saw eight lead changes before the Trailblazers were able to pick up the 28-26 win. Natasha Stewart (North Andover/ North Andover) and Ahna Schlaefer (Lee/ Lee) knocked back- to- back kills for the final two points of the set. Schlaefer finished with 9 kills and picked up 15 digs, Stewart had a game- high 40 assists.

The Owls controlled the next two sets leading both from start to finish. In the decisive fourth set, the Owls trailed late (22-21) before a Starkey kill knotted the score and the Owls benefited from three Trailblazer miscues down the stretch.

Ally Rega (Chelmsford/ Chelmsford) dished out 33 assists on the night and Lizzie Taylor (Medfield/ Medfield) picked up 28 digs and four aces in the win.

MCLA was led by Kelly Moczulski (New River, AZ/ Anthem Preparatory) on offence with a game-high 15 kills, while Houa Xiong (Fresno, CA/Sunnyside) grabbed 41 digs.

Both teams return to action this weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 21 Westfield hosts Bridgewater State at 12:00 p.m. The Trailblazers head to SUNY Delhi for a tri-match with Farmingdale State on Sunday, Sept. 22 with 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. starts.