New Hampshire 3, Rhode Island 1
Rhode Island dropped its season-opener to New Hampshire, falling 3-1 in the first match of the Army Invitational.
After losing the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-22, Rhody avoided the sweep by claiming the third set. With the score tied 12-12, URI reeled off seven consecutive points to take a 19-12 lead. That distance gave the Rams enough room to hang on for a 25-16 victory.
Rhode Island then jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set, and pushed it to 8-3 after a kill by Gllian Klise. However a 9-1 UNH run gave the Wildcats a 12-9 advantage. Rhody pulled back ahead on a Natale Zanellato kill that made it 16-15 URI and the teams continued to trade points down the stretch. The Rams led 20-19 but New Hampshire scored six of the final nine points for the match-clinching win.
Rhode Island 3, Iona 0
Rhody rebounded from its tournament-opening loss to New Hampshire by knocking off Iona in straight sets. The Rams and Gaels played a tight first set, with neither team leading by more than three until a Mariah Paulette kill ended things with Rhody on top 25-21.
Iona came out strong in the second set, opening with a 6-1 run. Rhody chipped its way back though, and eventually tied the score at 9-9 on a kill by Claire Wagner. The Rams went on to claim nine of the next 10 points to pull ahead 18-10. During that span, Rhody took advantage of service error and attack errors, as well as five consecutive bad sets by the Gaels. The Rams held on to the lead the rest of the way, cruising to the 25-17 finish.
Iona played Rhody close in the third set, but after the Gaels tied the score at 8-8 URI began to distance itself. A 7-1 run move Rhody ahead 15-9 but Iona pulled back within two at 20-18, and again at 22-20. That was as close as it would get however, as a kill by Wagner, followed by a Gaels attack error and two more bad sets from Iona's Maile Powell ended things with Rhody on top 25-20.
Inside the Box Scores
- Freshman Claire Wagner led Rhode Island with 29 kills (4.14 per set) and 34 digs (4.86 per set) through the two matches, double-doubling against both UNH (15k/17d) and Iona (14k/17d). She also recorded three blocks, two assists and one service ace.
- Sophomore Mariah Paulette combined for 15 kills and had three block assists on the afternoon.
- Sophomore Gabrielle Shilling registered 14 kills and five digs while redshirt junior Natale Zanellato had 12 kills and six digs.
- Junior Annie Ell recorded 66 assists through Rhody's seven sets. She also added 19 digs, seven kills, five service aces and one block.
- Sophomore Ella Ratzloff combined for 29 digs (4.14 per set) and eight assists.
- Freshmen Gillian Klise and Adel Gage also made their collegiate debuts for the Rams as each played in all seven sets. Klise finished the day with five kills, two digs, two assists and three blocks - including one solo. Gage had 15 digs, one kill and one assist.
Rhode Island returns to Gillis Field House to take on Army West Point, Sunday at 11 a.m.