Volleyball Upends Bryant in Three

DURHAM, N.H. – Junior setter Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) tallied a match-high 31 assists, aiding the University of New Hampshire volleyball team to a 3-0 victory over Bryant at Lundholm Gymnasium Tuesday evening.

The victory came by set scores of 25-22, 26-24 and 25-19.

Sophomore outside hitter Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) paced the New Hampshire (5-3, 0-0 America East) offense, striking seven kills while chipping in eight digs. Abby Brinkman (Brecksville, Ohio), Brenna Buckwalter (Evergreen, Colo.) and Destiny Tolliver each had six kills in the victory. In addition, Katie Sattora (Avon, N.Y.) and Tolliver notched two service aces. Madison Lightfoot (Clarkston, Mich.) paced the backline in digs, registering 15. 

Claire Van Dyk led Bryant (0-7, 0-0 Northeast) offensively, tallying a game-high nine kills. Jana Kmec tallied 22 assists and 12 digs in a losing effort. Elena Lohr and Van Dyk both reached double-digits in digs, accumulating 12 and 10 respectively.

The Wildcats hit for a .158 percentage on the night, while limiting Bryant's offense to a .052 clip, a season best for New Hampshire.

In set one, the 'Cats bolted out to a 7-3 lead, forcing an early Bulldogs timeout. Following the timeout, Bryant battled back, erasing the four-point deficit and posting a 14-12 edge. After a UNH timeout, the Wildcats regained the momentum, taking six of the next seven points. New Hampshire never surrendered the lead again, taking the first stanza, 25-22.

The Bulldogs came out in the second stanza, capturing five of the first six points, powered by Van Dyk and Kmec. New Hampshire clawed back, tallying back-to-back kills from Brinkman and Buckwalter to level the score at eight. Remaining close in the midst of the second set, UNH carved out a seven-point lead, forcing set point. However, Kendall Gaffney served up seven straight Bulldog points, tying the set at 24. The Wildcats recomposed themselves, earning the deciding two points to take the second set, 26-24. 

New Hampshire and Bryant opened the final set, exchanging the first five points. The Wildcats held a one-point advantage late in the stanza and distanced themselves, aided by kills from Forrest and Tolliver. Additionally, Sattora tallied an ace, forcing Bryant to use a timeout. Despite the Bulldogs' effort, the Wildcats were able to close out the third and final set, 25-19.

Concluding a four-game home stand, the Wildcats start a season-long 11 game road trip. New Hampshire begins this stretch at the Maryland Tournament, taking on the host Terrapins Friday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Villanova and George Mason will clash with UNH on Saturday, Sept. 14, starting at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

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