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Gators Drop Tough Decision to Mass.- Dartmouth

Gators Drop Tough Decision to Mass.- Dartmouth

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. –Pine Manor College women's volleyball dropped a tight 3-0 (21-25, 23-25, 21-25) decision to visiting Mass.-Dartmouth on Tuesday at Brunelli Court. The Gators drop to 3-8 on the season with the defeat. Mass.-Dartmouth improves to 5-8.

UMD's Eliza Bowes (West Yarmouth, Mass.) led all players with 10 kills in the match, while adding three of the Corsairs 15 service aces on the evening. Junior libero Brianna Perry (Acushnet, Mass.) also added three service aces while tallying a match-high 21 digs. Christina Spinazola (Medway, Mass) had a match-high eight service aces for the Corsairs.

Mass.-Dartmouth jumped out to an early lead in the first set of the night, taking an 11-3 advantage following a Pine Manor error. The Gators climbed back into the first game, closing the gap to 12-11 on a kill by Destiny Mann (Orlando, Fla.). With PMC within a point, a pair of Gator errors helped the Corsairs increase their advantage to 14-11, and eventually 20-16, as UMD made the four-point margin hold up en route to the 25-21 victory in set one.

Mann and sophomore Susan Le (Lowell, Mass.) each finished with six kills for the Gators, with Mann adding a team-high 12 digs and Le collecting 10 digs of her own. Natasia Franklin (Windsor, Conn.), pictured,  put down a team-high seven kills for the Gators and freshman Ashley Whiteshield (Seward, Alaska) dished out 17 assists and had 11 digs.

It looked as if the Gators would even the score in the second set, as Pine Manor took an early 9-5 advantage following a UMD error. PMC increased its margin to 13-8 on a rare attack error by Bowes but UMD was able to fight back to earn the side-out and send Spinazola to the serving line. Spinazola then rattled off five of her match-high eight service aces as part of a serving run that eventually gave UMD a 17-14 lead. PMC would close the gap to within one at 21-20, but ultimately the Gators were unable to retake their early advantage, dropping the second set 25-23.

In the third set, the Gators again stormed out to an early lead, taking a 13-5 advantage before Perry tallied all three of her service aces on a run that closed the PMC advantage to 13-10. The Gators responded, adding three points thanks to kills from Mann and Franklin and an ace by Whiteshield to take a 16-10 lead.

With the Corsairs trailing it was Spinazola that again rallied the visitors, collecting two service aces as part of a UMD run that tied the match at 16-all.

A pair of UMD errors gave PMC a two-point cushion but Bowes responded with a pair of kills of her own to even the match at 18-all. A PMC error and a kill by UMD's Makenzie Reynolds (Ludlow, Mass.) finally put the visitors up for good as Mass.-Dartmouth then closed out the set, 25-21, to take a 3-0 match victory.

The Gators will back in action on Thursday evening when they travel to Chicopee, Mass for a 6:00 PM match versus Elms. UMass Dartmouth has a quick turnaround as they will play at Mitchell tomorrow night at 6:30 PM.