By David F.P. [Modest Image Gallery]
FAIRFIELD, CT- Less than an hour after dropping a narrow match to Rutgers, Coach Diane Short’s Brown team was back in action versus Don Ferguson’s Hartford Hawks. The Bears exploded out of the gate with a 4-0 lead, Hartford got on the board, but two points from Maddie Lord put the score at 6-2. Kami Nethersole responded for the Hawks with two points, but Brown picked up two more including Lord serving up an ace. Nethersole sent another kill in and it was 8-5 Brown.
The Bears however scored 4 straight points including Emma Pastore’s big kill and it was soon 12-6. Nethersole responded again, but Pastore and Kathryn Glickman picked up 2 more kills for Brown. Soon the score was 16-8.
Hartford scored 3 straight though including Sareeta Nethersole walloping the ball in. Lord’s spike and shared block with Taylor Bantle kept the lead large, and she added another tremendous kill resulted in a 20-12 lead. Nethersole took a set and hit the ball in, and another Hartford point followed, but Lord and Bantle had successive points for a 22-14 advantage. It wasn’t long until Brown was able to close the set out with a 25-16 win.
Into set 2 the two teams went. Kami Nethersole opened up the Hartford scoring, Jackie Tamburri had a misdirection fake set, and Michelle Cordell served up an ace. With the score 1-3 Brown called a time out to regroup. Brown picked up a few points from Lord, Bantle, and Pastore, though Hartford had three blocks from Lindsay Anderson (one shared with Kami Nethersole, another with Sydney Scott) and the score was 4-7. The Bears however tied it up and the teams started trading points.
Brown however started a lead of their own when Thea Derrough crushed an attack into the Hartford zone. Lord smacked an attack off the defense and out of play, and Derrough sent another kill cross court. The score was soon 13-11. Hartford battled back with Kami Nethersole’s kill a tandem block with Anderson, and an Anderson solo block. Soon it was 13-16.
Brown tied it right back up with Bantle’s light touch of a kill, a Pastore missile, and an ace from Lord. The Hawks benefited from a pair of Brown miscues, and Dionna Kirton added a service ace for an 18-20 lead. Glickman and Lord’s kills evened it up at 20, but miscues from both sides would follow including two which gave Hartford a two point lead. A final attack error by Brown resulted in a 22-25 win for the Hawks, their first set win of the tournament.
On to set 3 the two teams went, with a fairly back and forth contest to a 15-15 tie. Kami Nethersole kept up her scoring with a ton of kills, and Sareeta Nethersole got in on the scoring as well. For Brown Lord also was picking up kills as was Bantle, Pastore, and Nickel. Lord and Bantle shared a block as well. Savannah Holte also picked up a point for Brown with a kill off the blockers. Hartford took a brief lead thanks to another Kirton service ace, and a huge shot from Cordell, but then Brown went rolling. Pastore had a pair of kills, and shared a block with Glickman. It was 19-18 Brown, and a pair of Hartford attack errors extended the lead. Pastore had another kill, Alexandra Rieckhoff had a service ace to bring the Bears within 1. Cordell kept Hartford alive for two points, but Pastore ended it 25-21.
Up 2 sets to 1, Brown went into Set 4 on a roll and just kept rolling. They opened up a 6-3 lead which soon became 9-4. Both Nethersole’s scored for Hartford as did Taylor McCreery, but Brown just kept going including a block from Nickel and Bantle. With the score 15-8, Bantle hit through the blockers, and Lord also didn’t led a block stop her. Another whap from Bantle extended the lead to 9, 18-9. The score was soon 22-11. Pastore was responsible for point number 23, Nickel picked up point 24, and Kathryn Conner ended it for Brown 25-15 giving the Bears a 3-1 win and their first match win of the tournament. Hartford dropped to 0-3 for the 48 hour period.
Editor’s Note: This is based on notes taken at the match, normally verified against the official play by play if possible. Reports focus on offense since it is easier to track but note defensive play whenever possible. Also, a lot happens in a volleyball game, far more than can fit into a report, so this just notes some of it.