BOSTON – In its first match that was not a sweep this season, the Suffolk volleyball team could not outlast Wentworth Institute of Technology Tuesday night, as the Rams fell, 3-1, at Tansey Gymnasium. The Leopards took the match by set scores of 25-20, 22-25, 25-17 and 25-16.
Bridget Allison recorded a career-high 11 kills to pace the Rams' (2-4) attack. The freshman added six digs and a service ace while Chidera Nwankwo and Jane Buckley contributed eight kills and seven kills, respectively. Liz Kerek had a career-night as she dished out a career-best 26 assists, matched her kills career high with five and provided six digs. Suffolk also received a strong performance from its rookie duo of Talia Lombardo and Emma Feeney, as Lombardo recorded 16 digs, four kills, two assists and two aces with Feeney adding 12 digs, two assists and one ace.
Stephanie Nihan and Hannah Bailey led Wentworth's (4-4) attack with 12 kills each as Amanda Hunton dished out 39 assists.
A back-and-forth opened play throughout the early stages of the first set until an attack error by Nwankwo evened the score at 10. Wentworth went on to score seven of the next points to take a 17-11 lead as the Rams' first-year head coach Bonny Ducharme called for a timeout. Out of the break, Suffolk rattled off three straight points, but the Leopards answered with three of the next four to maintain the lead. The Rams continued to battle and went on a 4-0 spurt to pull with one, 20-19, but the hosts held on for first set victory, 25-20.
Suffolk was forced to play from behind again in the second set as Wentworth opened a 10-7 margin. A 6-1 spurt by the Rams reversed the lead and put the visitors out in front, 17-13. The teams traded points, but Suffolk's lead held to take the stanza, 25-22, and level the match at one set apiece.
The teams found themselves tied at 10 midway through the third set, but nine unanswered points allowed the Leopards to open a 24-14 margin en route to a 25-17 win.
The fourth frame was very similar to number three, as see-saw action consumed the opening portion and Wentworth held a two-point lead, 12-10, at the midway point. A late 8-0 run by the Leopards set-up match point 24-15. Nwankwo notched sent a kill home, but the Rams did not rally, as Wentworth took the set and match, 25-15.
Suffolk will return to the court Thursday, Sept. 17 when it hosts Anna Maria at Regan Gymnasium at 7 p.m.