BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Suffolk volleyball picked up a 3-1 season opening victory over Mass. Maritime at the Clean Harbors Athletic Center behind stand-up play from juniors Bridget Allison and Talia Lombardo. The Rams won their second straight season debut by set scores of 25-18, 25-6, 15-25 and 25-17.
SCORE: Suffolk 3, Mass. Maritime 1
RECORDS: Suffolk (1-0) | Mass. Maritime (1-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Rams and Buccaneers went back-and-forth in the first frame with the blue-and-gold coming out on top, 25-18. The visitors quickly made it a 2-0 match, rolling past Mass. Maritime, 25-6, in the second set, but the Bucs forced a fourth set, taking down the Rams 25-15 in the third. Suffolk did not let things get out of hand, however, as it closed the fourth frame and match, 25-17.
SET ONE RECAP (25-18 SUFFOLK)
- Suffolk trailed the Bucs, 7-5
- Mass. Maritime then stretch its lead to 11-7
- The Rams rolled off four consecutive points to lock things at 11-all
- Another 4-0 spurt put Suffolk in front for the first time and for good, 16-14.
- The blue-and-gold outscored the Bucs 9-4 down the stretch to take an early edge
SET TWO RECAP (25-6 SUFFOLK)
- The Rams grabbed an 13-3 lead.
- Behind Lombardo at the service line, Suffolk strung together 11 consecutive points to putsh the score to 24-5
- Thanks to a service error by the Buccaneers, the Rams won the set, 25-6
SET THREE RECAP (25-15, MASS. MARITIME
- Similar to the first set, Suffolk trailed 7-5
- The Rams leveled the playing field at 8-all and went up one, 9-8, on a kill by Dorothy Mensah
- The lead was short lived, however, as the Bucs went on a roll to gain a 20-14 advantage
- Suffolk was limited to just one additional point and Mass Maritime grabbed the fram 25-15
SET FOUR RECAP (25-17, SUFFOLK)
- Once again Suffolk had to claw out of a hole, trailing by six, 9-3
- The Rams climbed back with five consecutive points to pull within one, 9-8
- Their own error broke up Suffolk's run, the Rams did not let the Buccaneers build momentum off the mistake as they went on another stretch, this time scoring seven unanswered points to reserve the roles and lead, 15-11
- Suffolk never looked back from there as it cruised to the 25-17 set and match decision
- Lombardo led the way with 12 kills on a .269 connection rate with five aces and seven digs to her credit.
- Allison contributed on both sides of the net, notching a double-double effort with 10 kills on a .625 attack percentage with 10 digs.
- Liz Kerek and Rachel Fancy set up the Rams offense. Kerek paced Suffolk's setter with 23 assists and added eight digs. Fancy, meanwhile, notched 16 handouts and six digs.
- In their Rams' debut, Kayla Barbera chipped in 10 digs and four kills, while Sarah Mullahy recorded six kills.
- Suffolk won its second straight season opener.
- The Rams improved to 2-1 in the first match of the season under Bonny Ducharme's guidance.
- The blue-and-gold improved to 6-9 in season debuts in the past 15 seasons.
- Suffolk remains undefeated all-time versus Mass. Maritime with its 14th straight victory over the Buccaneers.
- Allison produced her first double-double of the season and fifth throughout her career.
Suffolk is set for the Smith College Invitational this weekend. The Rams open action Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. versus Gallaudet before facing Mount Saint Vincent Saturday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. and close the invitational's action versus Western New England at 3 p.m.