NEWTON, MA— Norwich University's women's volleyball team outlasted the Lasell College Lasers, 3-2, in a five-set Great Northeast Athletic Conference match on Wednesday afternoon. The Lasers picked up the first two sets by scores of 26-24 and 25-23 before the Cadets rallied for the final three sets, 25-13, 25-16, and 15-10.
On the victor's side, Molly Rice (Sunapee, NH) recorded a triple-double performance in the match with 40 assists, 24 digs, and 11 kills. Rice was aided in the victory by three teammates who registered double-doubles. Thea Evans (Glencoe, NM) was noteworthy with a match-best 31 digs and a team-best 14 kills. Brittany Palmer (York, PA) notched 11 kills and 19 digs and Ivana Batur (Zadar, Croatia) matched 13 kills with 13 digs.
In spite of the loss, Lasell put up some big numbers as well, including two double-double showings from Taylor Riley (Greencastle, PA) and Meghan Crozier (Ballston Spa, NY). Riley, the GNAC Rookie of the Week, put down 12 kills and dug up 18 balls in her seventh season double-double. Crozier's marked her ninth of the season, with 39 assists and 16 digs.
Freshman libero Sarah Eisenberg (Westfield, MA) produced a team-high 28 digs while senior Megan Gobeille (Lincoln, RI) was close behind with 27. Gobeille also chipped in with eight kills and three service aces. Danielle Drapeau (Biddeford, ME) topped all attackers with 16 kills, and also had the most swings at the net with 53 total attacks.
The opening set was a back-and-forth affair which swung point-by-point through a 13-all tie. Norwich went ahead on an individual block in the middle by Batur which sparked 9-5 run by the visitors to take a 22-18 edge. Norwich eventually reached set-point on a service error by Lasell. The Lasers would not remit to the loss and generated a 6-0 run of their own with Crozier serving to close the game in their favor.
Lasell came out swinging in the second game taking a 6-0 lead early on. Palmer broke up the run with a quick middle, followed by an ace to gain some momentum for the Cadets. Norwich inched their way back into the set, leading to a 20-19 lead on a kill by Rice from the right side. Lasell tied the score at 22-all before successive points by Drapeau ended the set.
Norwich bolstered their caliber of play in the third set, cutting back on errors and finding their attack from the start. The visitors took a 9-3 advantage which eventually led to a double-figure lead by the 20th point of the set. Lasell brought the game back to within seven points (17-10) but the Cadets would finish off the set with an 8-3 run, capped with an ace by Evans.
The fourth set began with Lasell on top, 4-0, but the Cadets quickly closed the gap and regained the lead, 8-7, with an Evans kill down the middle. The lead remained in Norwich's favor through the remainder of the set.
In the deciding game, Lasell took a 4-0 lead before Evans broke up the run to put Norwich on the board. Lasell held an 8-4 lead at the halfway marker at which point the Cadets posted a 7-0 stretch to take the lead, 9-8. The lead alternated through a 10-10 tie at which point Evans served the final five points, topped off with an ace to end the match.
Lasell finished the day with a 9-17 overall and a 4-6 GNAC record. Norwich returned to Vermont with a 17-7 season and a 6-2 league slate.
The Lasers will hit the road on Saturday, October 23rd for a GNAC tri-match at Simmons College with Saint Joseph College of Connecticut.