DURHAM, N.H. -- Freshman Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) had a career-day with 17 kills, three blocks, 12 digs and three service aces to lead three Wildcats in double-figures and lift the University of New Hampshire volleyball team to a, 3-2, come-from-behind victory over previously unbeaten Dartmouth College in the opening day of competition at the Holly Young Invitational held at Lundholm Gymnasium. Set scores against the Big Green were 22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 26-24 and 15-9.
New Hampshire improves to 4-7, while Dartmouth is now 7-1. In the day's first match, Sacred Heart (7-4) defeated Rutgers (6-5) by a score of 3-1. Set scores in that match were 23-25, 25-19, 26-24 and 25-17. UNH will play both Sacred Heart and Rutgers on Saturday.
In addition to Tolliver, Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.) posted a career-high 21 kills and added 18 digs, while Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) had 14 kills. Pacing the Wildcat offense was senior setter Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.), who dished out a career-high 60 assists, marking the first time a Wildcat posted 60-plus helpers since the 2007 season. Defensively, Heldman led the way with 21 digs, while three others notched double-figures in that category. Justine Elliott (Mitchellville, Md.) tallied six blocks to lead the way for New Hampshire.
Dartmouth captured the first set by three points, tallied 10 kills and took advantage of New Hampshire's 10 attack errors. The set featured six ties and a pair of lead charges. The second set was tight throughout with nine ties and three lead changes. Tolliver led the way in the second frame with five kills and a block, while UNH tallied 14 kills in a 26-24 win. The equally close and consisted of nine ties and four lead changes. In the end, the Big Green earned the 25-23 win. Dartmouth hit at a match-high .263 clip with 14 kills compared to just four errors. Madeline Baird led the way for the Big Green with five kills in the set including the final point of the stanza. New Hampshire, trailing 2-1, won the final two sets to secure the victory. The fourth set saw a match-high 10 ties and five lead changes as the teams fought back-and-forth. UNH had the first opportunity for set-point at 24-23, but a service error tied it at 24-24. The 'Cats responded as Keding recorded a kill and herself and Elliott combined for the block assist to force a fifth set. UNH hit at a match-best .326 clip with 18 kills compared to just three errors. The 'Cats jumped out to a 7-2 edge in the tie-breaking set before four-straight Big Green points trimmed the lead to 7-6. Leading 8-7, UNH would scored seven of the match's final nine points to earn the 3-2 victory.
The Holly Young Invitational continues Saturday with four matches beginning at 10 a.m., including a pair of UNH matches. The action begins with Dartmouth/Rutgers (10 a.m.) followed by UNH/Sacred Heart at 12:30. The evening session opens with Dartmouth/Sacred Heart (4:30 p.m.) and concludes with the 10th-annual "Pack the Arena" night with New Hampshire's match against Big East foe Rutgers at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Lundholm Gymnasium box office on game day. For more information on tickets, live stats, live video and all other Wildcat sports log onto www.UNHwildcats.com.