DANBURY, CT – Despite a match-high 22 kills from junior Nicolina Chenard (Ardsley, NY), the No. 1 seeded Western Connecticut State University women's volleyball team fell to visiting No. 4 seeded UMass-Boston, 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 21-25, 15-13), in the semifinal round of the Little East Conference Championship Tournament on Thursday night at Feldman Arena.
With the loss, the Colonials' campaign ended at 21-8 overall, while the Beacons avenged an earlier regular season five set loss, improving to 11-18 while advancing to Saturday's championship game. They will travel to third-seeded host Plymouth State, who downed second-seeded Eastern Connecticut in the other semifinal.
"We dug ourselves a big hole and couldn't recover from it. Our passing was inconsistent and UMass-Boston played a solid match," said WestConn head coach Don Ferguson following the action. "However, we have a young squad and I hope they learn from this experience," he concluded.
Trailing 2-0, WestConn finally came to life late in the third set. Junior libero Victoria Alomar (Naranjito, PR) recorded back-to-back service aces, putting the hosts ahead, 20-18, and swinging the momentum in their favor. They would capture the stanza, 25-22.
In the fourth, the WestConn surge continued. Alomar notched another ace that glanced off a Beacon player's head, giving the Colonials a 24-21 lead. Chenard capped it off with a kill, deadlocking the contest at 2-2.
Things looked good for the hosts as they led 8-6 at fifth set switch. However, UMass-Boston chipped away at the advantage to eventually knot the count at 13-13. Senior middle hitter Sarah Doyle (Glendale, CA) smashed her seventh floor, cementing the 15-13 win for the visitors.
In addition to Chenard, classmates Ali Brochu (Winsted, CT) and Victoria Korzan (Southbury, CT) finished with 14 and 10 kills, respectively. Sophomore Marcelle Tiscareno (El Paso, TX) paced the Beacons with 13 kills, while junior Emilia Czapiewska (St. Paul, MN) added 12.