WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – All 15 players in uniform saw action as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team moved to within one of its first 20-win regular season in 12 years with 25-10, 25-13, 25-19 triumphs over Albertus Magnus College in a non-conference match Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
A winner of 15 of its last 17, Eastern (19-6) attacked at .344 and never trailed in improving to 7-0 all-time against Albertus (11-15), which has lost four straight and six of seven.
Behind senior Jackie Orlowski (Woodstock) and sophomores Lauren Notholt (Milford) and Alaetra Long (Lincoln, NE), Eastern attacked at .467 in the first set in roaring to a 15-point victory, and was never seriously headed. In the first set, Orlowski, Notholt and Long combined for 12 kills and just one error for a .579 attack percentage.
Down by seven late in the third set, the Falcons made their only sustained run of the match by reeling off four straight on kills from junior Ashley David and freshman Summer Onorato and consecutive Eastern attack errors to force the Warriors to call timeout with a 20-17 lead. The Warriors regained the momentum with back-to-back kills from senior Carly Balskus (Hebron) coming out of the timeout and went on to the deciding six-point win and their sixth home win in seven matches this season.
At right: Sophomore Sydney Chomicz (3) hits over the Albertus block late in Eastern's 3-0 non-conference win Tuesday night at Geissler Gym. Chomicz had five kills and a .250 attack percentage as one of 15 players to see action. (Photo by Sara Pisanelli)
Balskus led all players with 11 kills and had a .400 attack percentage and chipped in eight digs, with Orlowski collecting seven kills and a .600 attack percentage and a match-high four blocks. Long added six kills and a .500 attack percentage and sophomore Sydney Chomicz (Clinton) came off the bench to contribute a career-tying five kills. Freshman Meg Verizzi (Lebanon) and senior Leah Sopneski (Deep River) combined for 25 assists and Long led all players with 12 digs. Behind Orlowski, eight players contributed to Eastern's total of 15 blocks .
Eastern hosts the University of Southern Maine Saturday at noon, with a win ensuring the Warriors of their first Little East Conference regular-season title since winning the third of three straight in 2006.