NORTHFIELD, Vermont. – The Norwich University volleyball team split a pair of games at Andrews Hall on Saturday, toppling the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards 3-1 after a 3-1 loss to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. With Saturday’s split, the Cadets improve their record to 4-2 this year. The third of the tri-match featured MCLA vs. WIT, resulting in a Wentworth victory, 3-0.
Norwich Volleyball v Wentworth
Norwich controlled the pace in Saturday’s nightcap, securing a dominant win in the third set after a 1-1 deadlock and holding off Wentworth in the fourth to score a 3-1 victory (25-14, 18-25, 25-14 , 25-21 ). Senior Ana Lopez (Laredo, TX) was one of three cadets to rack up double-digit wins, leading the team with 12 wins that day.
Junior Sam Lebruska (Lynnfield, Mass) and junior Lea Mathewson (North Chelmsford, Massachusetts) racked up 10 kills apiece, with Mathewson converting an impressive .467 hit percentage to go along with two assists, an ace and two solo blocks.
As a team, Norwich hit .322, shining in an opening set that saw the caddy swing at a .700 hitting percentage and a third set that ended with Norwich hitting .474%. Junior Laura Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) and senior Maggie McNeil (Gilford, NH) converted two aces each while a senior Sarah Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) recorded a team-high seven digs, alongside an outing of 32 assists.
A 9-4 run brought the Cadets back from an early deficit and gave Norwich a 13-8 advantage. Wentworth drew within three points, but Norwich canceled the first set with a run of six points to take a 20-10 lead, finishing the set, 25-14, to take a 1-0 lead in the game. Wentworth fought back with a strong second set, winning 25-18 behind 13 kills.
Norwich took a 4-0 lead in the third set, keeping the Leopards at bay while using several points from two to three to take a 16-9 lead. Wentworth’s back-to-back points looked promising for the Leopards to regain their momentum, but the Cadets quickly won that with a six-point run that put the set out of reach at 22-11.
The Cadets broke a 19-19 tie and took a three-point lead on a kill and an ace par Addison Schröder (Apple Valley, California) next to a Leopard attack error. A killing of Sarah Farnum Lauren Farnum’s past started a game ending, three-pointer for the Cadets.
Norwich Volleyball vs. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
A feverish comeback nearly forced a decisive fifth set as Norwich lost a 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 26-24) decision to MCLA on Saturday at Andrews Hall. Ana Lopez led the charge for the Cadets with 18 kills in the afternoon, hitting a .484 clip. Addison Schröder nailed on 10 kills, junior Sam Lebruska and second Abby Kanaga scored five wins apiece, and junior Lea Mathewson recorded three victims in the morning.
Junior Defensive Specialist Laura Farnum led the team with nine digs and nailed four aces while Mathewson blocked two shots. Senior setter Sarah Farnum had a team-high 19 assists, adding two kills and two digs.
In the first set, MCLA built a four-point advantage at 12-8. Norwich fought back and cut the gap to three with a 6-1 run late in the set, making the set 22-19, but MCLA managed to secure a 25-20 win to take the early lead. In the second set, Norwich opened up a 9-6 lead, but a Trailblazers comeback predicted a back-and-forth battle that led to a 22-22 stalemate. MCLA won the set and took a 2-0, 25-22 lead after holding serve and scoring back-to-back takedowns to prevent an overtime in the set.
Norwich picked up a set point in the third, breaking a 19-19 tie and taking control with a four-point run to come back up, 24-20. Sarah Farnum fed Lopez for a set-ending kill. Lopez converted three straight wins with the Cadets behind MCLA, 8-5 to tie the fourth set. MCLA started to turn the tide and used a late-set 7-3 run to take a 22-16 lead.
Cadets started their comeback by following a Trailblazer offense error with a kill from Kanaga and an ace from senior Maggie McNeil. MCLA blocked a caddy attack to recover serve and move within two points of victory, but a service error returned the ball to Norwich. Cadets tied the game at 23-23 after an attacking error, killed by Sarah Farnum and have by Laura Farnum. The two teams traded points to tie the set at 24-24, but MCLA closed the game with consecutive points to finish fourth.
Norwich will return to the field on Wednesday, September 14, when the Cadets travel to Plymouth, New Hampshire to battle Plymouth State. Cadets will return home to Andrews Hall on Friday September 16 to host Curry College as part of the homecoming weekend. The first Friday service is set at 5 p.m.