DURHAM, N.H. - Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif.) recorded a match-high 16 kills to lead the University of New Hampshire women's volleyball team to Saturday afternoon's 3-1 America East conference victory against Stony Brook University at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game scores were 30-17, 30-20, 17-30 and 30-20.
UNH improved to 12-10 overall and 2-1 in America East while the Seawolves fell to 15-9, 1-2.
Coler, who set a school record with 38 kills earlier this week, led UNH to a quick start in Game 1 as she recorded consecutive kills to give the Wildcats an 8-2 advantage. SBU closed within 10-5 but the 'Cats won seven straight points to build a 17-5 cushion and the visitors never trimmed the deficit below nine points the rest of the opening game.
Game 2 was close early and Stony Brook held an 11-8 lead on a service ace by Julie Zub (33 assists). The Wildcats trailed 12-10 but went ahead, 14-12, on a four-point run that featured two service aces from Amy Dai (Calgary, Alberta). The Seawolves tied the score at 14 but UNH won the next six points - two on Coler kills - to take a 20-14 lead.
Stony Brook closed within 20-19, then the 'Cats responded by winning eight consecutive points, including two on kills by Erin Ludwig (Fanklin Lakes, N.J.; 10 kills), to build a commanding 28-19 advantage. SBU fended off one game point but kills by Ludwig and Lauren Knight (Cape Cod, Mass.; match-high 19 digs) ended the game and gave New Hampshire a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Seawolves held an early 9-6 edge in Game 3 and won four straight points to take a 13-7 lead. The visitors quickly parlayed that into a 17-9 advantage and soon the difference grew to double digits, 21-11. UNH never closed within single figures the rest of the game and Stony Brook forced Game 4.
Rachel Goldsmith recorded two of her eight kills early in the fourth game as momentum continued in the visitor's favor for a 4-1 lead. UNH rallied to tie the score, 7-7, and eventually took the lead at 9-8 on a Ludwig kill. The Seawolves led 11-10 on a Danielle MacKnight kill before a kill by Knight tied the game and the Wildcats regained the lead, 13-11. Leading 15-14, New Hampshire pulled away by winning eight consecutive points, four on Coler kills. SBU got as close as 24-19 before losing four straight points to give the 'Cats a 28-19 advantage.
UNH's offense was directed by Anne Davis (Groveland, Ill.), who was credited with 40 assists. She, as well as Sasha Scott (North Branford, Conn.) and Jen Williams (Moutnain View, Calif.), reached double figures in digs with 11, 15 and 14, respectively. Karen Harrington (Windham, N.H.) was a defensive presence with seven total blocks. Stony Brook was led offensively by LaToya Byerly's 13 kills. Goldsmith had a team-high 16 digs and was followed by Abby Eagan's 14.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 18 (7 p.m.) at Maine. The next Wildcat home match is Oct. 25 vs. Albany at 7 p.m.