EAST BOSTON, Mass. – The Norwich University volleyball team suffered a pair of setbacks in its doubleheader matchup on Saturday against Suffolk University and Western New England University.
Suffolk 3 Norwich 0
Norwich (7-5, 1-1 GNAC) was swept by Suffolk (10-5, 3-0 GNAC) in three straight sets by scores of 25-16, 25-14, and 25-17.
The Cadets quickly fell behind to start the match as Suffolk jumped ahead with an early 7-1 edge. The Cadets charged back to chip the deficit to four, 11-7. A 4-1 run by the Rams put the hosts in front 15-8, which forced Norwich to take its second timeout of the set. Using its advantage from the onset, the Rams maintained its advantage down the stretch to secure the first set win.
In the second set out of an 11-11 tie, Norwich struggled to sideout as Suffolk strung together nine consecutive points switching the score in its favor, 20-11. Norwich called its second timeout of the set to stop the Rams' run and it worked. The visitors came out of the huddle on a 3-0 run of their own. However, Suffolk scored the final five points, including a block solo and an ace to secure the second set win.
Norwich held its first lead in the third set grabbing a 6-4 lead. Suffolk rattled off six-straight points to turn the tide in its favor, 10-6, which forced the Cadets to use a timeout. The Rams were able to balloon their lead to as much as 20-13. The conference foes traded runs the remainder of the way, but the Cadets never put a big enough stretch together to threaten the Rams' advantage.
Western New England 3 Norwich 1
Norwich won the first set 25-23 before falling in three straight-sets thereafter by scores of 25-14, 25-14, and 25-17.
The Cadets opened the nightcap as the aggressors, jumping out to an early 4-2 lead. Western New England climbed back to take a 9-6 lead with a mini three-point run. Norwich used its own 5-0 run to recapture the lead at 11-9 and didn't trail from there on out. Another 4-0 run catapulted the Cadets into a 20-15 lead and the team hung on for the 25-23 set win posting a kill for its final point.
The second set saw the teams deadlocked at 5-5 early before the Golden Bears strung together several mini runs of four, three and three more points to earn its largest lead of the set at 20-10. WNE would use that cushion to close out the set win.
A 9-0 run by the Golden Bears essentially sunk the Cadets in the start of the third set as the Cadets could only manage to carve the deficit to seven points the rest of the way. Norwich struggled with the Golden Bears' serves giving up seven aces in the set.
The Cadets continued to be mystified by the Golden Bears' service game in the fourth set giving up six aces in an initial 9-0 run. Norwich was able to battle back several times to cut the deficit to five points, but could not get any closer as WNE closed the match on a 5-2 run.
Junior rightside hitter Kathryn Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) led the team offensively with 17 kills while also adding 14 digs. Junior middle hitter Julia Schroeder (Victorville, Calif.) supplemented the offense with 13 kills. Senior outside hitter Michelle Zummo (Highland Mills, N.Y.) contributed 12 kills.
Freshman setter Sarah Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) engineered the offense with 40 assists and added 14 digs, while senior defensive specialist Brianna Dawson (Katonah, N.Y.) led the defense with 32 digs.
Norwich will look to return to the winning side of the ledger on the road against Plattsburgh in a non-conference tilt Wednesday at 6 p.m.