Volleyball Sweeps Past Robert Morris, 3-0, in Season Opener

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Junior Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) posted a match-high 13 kills to lead the University of New Hampshire volleyball team past Robert Morris, 3-0, in the first day of competition at the Villanova Classic Friday evening at the Nevin Field House. The set scores were 25-10, 25-13 and 25-11.

Thatcher also added six digs, four blocks and hit at a .542 clip. Freshman Victoria Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) added 11 kills and registered a .526 attack percentage. Sophomore Taylor Dunklau (Mukowonago, Wis.) led all players with 36 assists, while senior Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) recorded a match-high 13 digs.

UNH wasted no time in the opening set, jumping out to an 8-1 advantage after five unanswered points. The Wildcats maintained their lead at 13-6 and then rattled off six straight points, capped off by consecutive kills from Thatcher, Forrest and sophomore Delaney Dameron (Alpharetta, Ga.) for the 12-point advantage. Robert Morris managed to reach double-digits, but UNH ended with five straight for the 25-10 victory and 1-0 match lead. As a team, the Wildcats posted 17 kills in the set for a .486 attack percentage.

In the second set, the Wildcats picked up right where they left off in the first stanza by claiming the first four points for the early lead. Robert Morris fought back and pulled within two at 9-7, but the 'Cats reeled off a 6-1 run for the 15-9 advantage. The Colonials managed just three more points in the set as the Wildcats ended with four straight, including a pair of kills by junior Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.), for the 25-13 win and 2-0 lead.

Forrest led the way early in the third and final stanza as the rookie racked up three kills to help give her team a 7-0 lead and force a Robert Morris timeout. The Colonials pulled within five at 10-5 but could not get closer as the Wildcats closed out the set with seven unanswered points to take the stanza, 25-11, and complete the sweep.

The Wildcats wrap up play at the Villanova Classic on Saturday with a pair of matches against Maryland (3:30 p.m.) and host Villanova (8 p.m.).

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