HARTFORD, Conn. – The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team survived match point and got kills from juniors Emma Drolet (Riverside, RI) and Abby Stern (Manchester) to later break a tie and record a 20-18 victory in the fifth set in a 21-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 20-18 non-conference win over Trinity College in the opening round of the Trinity College Invitational Friday night at Ray Oosting Gymnasium.
Extended to five sets for the third straight year and for the fourth time in the last seven meetings in the series, Eastern (3-0, all on the road) erased a 14-12 deficit in the deciding set behind a kill from senior Lydia Niderno (Willington) and Trinity (0-2) service error, then took moved to within set point when junior Alaetra Long's (Lincoln, NE) kill gave it a 15-14 lead.
The final set was then tied four times before Drolet's kill off a set from senior Mckenzie Maneggia (Andover) gave Eastern the lead for good, 19-18. Stern then closed out the win with her final kill.
Sophomore middle hitter Anna Barry (Andover), last year's Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Year, led Eastern with 22 kills and a .318 attack percentage and also topped the team with six blocks en route to a team-high 26.5 points; Long had 14 kills (moving to within one of 500 in her career), 24 digs and three blocks; Stern 12 kills, 22 digs and three service aces. Maneggia had 31 assists and 14 digs and freshman Abby Fletcher (Fenton, MI) 17 assists. Sophomore Madison Bell (Salem) added 26 digs.
Colette Scheffers led Trinity with 17 kills but attacked at just .200 and Wyllie Boughton added 12 kills but had an .020 attack percentage.
Eastern is coming off last year's Little East Conference tournament title and 23-7 overall record while Trinity lost in its conference quarterfinals (first round) and was 13-11 overall a year ago, 2-8 in its conference.
Saturday, Eastern faces Clark University at 10 a.m. and Westfield State University at 2 p.m.