Golden Bears Fall to UC Santa Cruz & No. 21 Elmhurst at Slug Fest

Golden Bears Fall to UC Santa Cruz & No. 21 Elmhurst at Slug Fest

Ferguson posts pair of double-digit dig efforts for Western New England

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (September 1, 2017) –
The Western New England University volleyball team opened its season on Friday evening with a pair of matches at the University of California Santa Cruz Slug Fest. The Golden Bears dropped the opener to the host Banana Slugs, 3-1 (25-12, 22-25, 25-18, 25-15), before falling to No. 21 nationally ranked Elmhurst College, 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-13).

UC Santa Cruz 3, Western New England 1

Top Performers
• Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) led the Western New England offense with nine kills, while senior Emmaline Chiodini (St. Louis, Mo.) finished with seven kills and 11 digs.
• Senior libero Brianna Roath (Jackson, N.J.) recorded a team-high 13 digs and junior Jenna Ferguson (Ellington, Conn.) added 12.

• Senior outside hitter Kallan Bedard (San Mateo, Calif.) paced the Banana Slugs with 11 kills and eight digs, while freshman Claire Okerlund (Fullerton, Calif.) registered nine kills, eight digs and five service aces.

Match Review
• After dropping the opening set, Western New England fell behind 10-4 in the second frame. Still trailing 17-13, the Golden Bears reeled off eight straight points to claim a 21-17 advantage. Matthews recorded two late kills to close out the set and tie the match at 1-1.
• Western New England, which faced a 19-12 deficit in the second set, pulled as close as three (20-17) following a pair of UC Santa Barbara attack errors. The Banana Slugs took control from there, however, closing out the frame with a 5-1 run to open up a 2-1 lead in the match.
• With the score tied 7-7 in the fourth set, UC Santa Barbara won seven of the next eight points to claim a 14-8 lead. The home team eventually opened up a ten-point advantage (21-11) before winning the set by the same margin.

UC Santa Cruz 3, Western New England 1

Top Performers
• Senior Alona Kornberg (Fair Lawn, N.J.) led the Golden Bears offensively in their second match of the day, compiling a team-high eight kills with just one error in 24 attempts (.292).
• Sophomore Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) and Ferguson both posted double-digit dig efforts with 11 and ten, respectively.

• Senior middle hitter Hannah Davis (Huntley, Ill.) finished with a match-high ten kills for Elmhurst, while senior libero Amy Schryver (Williams Bay, Wis.) totaled 14 digs and seven assists.

Match Review
• Western New England led 9-8 early in the first set, but Elmhurst put together an 11-4 run to claim a 19-13 advantage. A 5-0 run later in the set brought the Golden Bears back to within one (19-18), but they were unable to close the gap as the Blue Jays pulled away late.
• Western New England raced out to a 10-5 lead in the second set and held a 20-12 advantage late in the frame. Elmhurst came all the way back, however, to steal the set and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
• The Blue Jays opened up a commanding 10-1 lead early in the third set and didn't look back, closing out the match with a 25-13 triumph.  

Up Next
Western New England (0-2) will be right back in action tomorrow with two more matches at the Slug Fest. The Golden Bears take on Southwestern (Tex.) University at 5 PM, before wrapping up their trip against Mills (Calif.) College at 7:30 p.m.