The Keene State women’s volleyball team fell in both games during their Saturday doubleheader to Western Connecticut and Bates College. Both matches were lost in three straight sets. The losses marked the eighth in their last 10 matches.
In the first set of their game against the Western Connecticut Warriors, the Owls came out slow out of the gate as the Warriors jumped to a 20-12 lead. Keene State would show their grit and battle back to even it up 21. However, the visitors were able to close out the set with a final score of 25-23. The Owls looked sharper in the second set, but were unable to ever take control, eventually dropping the set 25-18. Even being down two sets to zero, Keene State continued to battle and would grab their first lead of the set 11- 10. The Owls looked to be in control for the remainder of the set, grabbing two separate three-point leads. Unfortunately, they would be unable to close it out. While holding onto a 23-21 lead, the Warriors of Western Connecticut rattled off four straight points to give them the three set win. Junior Stephanie Olah led the team with nine kills, while freshman Alexis Small tallied 16 assists, and senior Reagan Fleming contributed 12 digs.
In their second match of the day, the Owls looked to split the day with a victory against Bates College. The first half of the first set saw a strong back and forth battle between the two teams. Midway through the set Bates led 13-12, before quickly pulling away. Five straight points gave them an 18-12 lead that they would not let go off, ultimately winning the set 25-17. Keene State came out strong in the second set, jumping out to a 15-11 lead after a kill from sophomore Savannah Soleau. The Owls’ inability to close out would be the story of the set. Seven straight points from the Bobcats quickly reversed the script, giving them a three point lead. The Owls once again battled through adversity, fought back and reclaimed the lead three separate times. It still wasn’t enough to hold off the Bobcats, who won the set 25-22. In the must-win third set to avoid back-to-back game three set losses, the Owls grabbed a 17-12 lead. In what ended up being the story of the matches, they were unable to hold on to the lead. Bates put up six straight points to take control of the match late in the third set. Once again, the Owls fought back, but it was too little too late. Bates took the set 25-21, handing Keene their third straight loss. Alexis Small continued her strong day leading the team with 20 assists, and Reagan Fleming once again led the team with 12 digs.
The team will look to bounce back and return to the win column when they face Colby – Sawyer College on Wednesday, September 27, at 7 p.m.
Cal Thompson can be contacted at