STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Junior Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) registered a team-high 14 kills and added 12 digs, but it was not enough as the University of New Hampshire volleyball team dropped its opening match at the Penn State Classic, 3-1, to St. Louis University. The set scores were 25-18, 25-23, 23-25 and 25-16. The Wildcats fall to 3-9 overall, while the Billikens improves to 7-3. UNH continues play at the Penn State Classic on Saturday with a pair of matches against Penn State (10 a.m.) and Yale (4 p.m.).
In addition to Bates on offense, freshman Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) had nine kills and four blocks, while Lindsay Fogarty (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Justine Elliott (Mitchelleville, Md.) tallied five and four blocks, respectively. Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.) and Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.) split time at setter, they had 19 and 14 assists, respectively, while defensively, Alyse Lahti (Pepper Pike, Ohio) led the way for the Wildcats with 21.
The Billikens build a big lead early in the first set as they held a 14-7 lead. UNH trailed 17-6 before they went on an 8-3 run to make it 20-17. However, St. Louis scored five of the final six points to take the first set. In the second set, the Wildcats held a slim lead throughout most of the match including a 20-16 lead until SLU tallied five of the next six points to tie it 21-21. The teams would trade points, but ultimately it was St. Louis that earned the two-point win. In the third set, the ‘Cats held a 9-4 lead that was quickly erased by five-straight SLU points. From that point on, the teams went back and forth with 13 different points in which the game was tied and neither team holding a lead of more than one. UNH earned the set by capitalizing on a pair of Billiken attacking errors for the final two points. In the fourth and final set, St. Louis led throughout including holding a 5-plus point lead from the midway point on and captured the nine-point win in the final set.
The Wildcats conclude play at the Penn State Classic on Saturday with matches against Penn State (10 a.m.) and Yale (4 p.m.). UNH returns home on Tuesday, Sept. 23 against Northeastern. Match time is 7 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com and the match will be streamed online at unhwildcats.tv. Fans can purchase events on a per game basis for $6.95 or they can purchase the annual subscription for $79.95.