WALTHAM, Mass. – The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team was unable to hold onto a late five-point lead that would have forced a decisive fifth set as Brandeis University rallied for a 26-24 victory and a four-set victory Saturday at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Cente.r
Playing its sixth regionally-ranked team in a little more than a month, Eastern (15-16) also dropped a four-set decision to Babson College (23-8) in its first match of the afternoon.
After being swept by Babson and Brandeis (7-21) earlier this season, the Warriors extended both opponents to four sets Saturday in their regular-season finale. Babson won 25-15, 22-25, 25-13, 25-16 and Brandeis 25-20, 25-21, 16-25 and 26-24.
Leading 20-15 in the fourth set after capturing the third set against Brandeis, the Warriors gave up four straight points before regaining the momentum at 23-20 on a kill by sophomore Amanda Tyler (Longmeadow, MA), then moved to within a point of the victory, 24-22. At that point, Brandeis' Jessie Moore collected four straight kills to give the hosts the win. Moore finished the match with 19 kills and .273 attack percentage.
On the afternoon, sophomores Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) and Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) combined for more than half of Eastern's kill total. Mihalek had 29 kills and a .211 attack percentage, Mullen 17 kills and a .256 attack percentage. Senior Allie Henry (Middletown) recorded 58 assists and junior libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) 38 digs and three service aces. Mihalek followed with 18 digs, Henry 17 and sophomore Nina Zimmitti (East Hampton) 16 and Mullen collected five blocks, freshman Caryn Sibiskie (Rockfall) four.
Seeded third in the Little East Conference playoffs, Eastern hosts No. 6 Plymouth State University Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a first-round match at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Babson College 3, Eastern Conn. 1
Eastern Conn. (15-15) 15 25 13 16
Babson College (23-8) 25 22 25 25
Brandeis U. 3, Eastern Conn. 1
Eastern Conn. (15-16) 20 21 25 24
Brandeis U. (7-21) 25 25 16 26