Volleyball Topples River Hawks in Straight Sets


DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team earned the season sweep against UMass Lowell, notching a 3-0 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.

The set scores were 25-16, 25-6 and 25-13. New Hampshire averaged a .444 hitting average while UMass Lowell was held to a -.022 clip. 

UNH improves to 12-12 overall and 6-2 in America East. UMass Lowell drops to 0-20, 0-8. New Hampshire is now tied with Stony Brook (12-13, 6-2) atop the conference standings with six games remaining in the season.

New Hampshire won its fourth consecutive match at home, all in straight sets. 

Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) led the Wildcats offensively, notching 12 and 11 kills respectively. Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) directed the offense, dishing out 31 assists. Sam Henke Millersville, Md.) paced the 'Cats defensively, tallying 11 digs. Collectively, the 'Cats racked up eight team blocks.

In the opening frame, UNH posted 17 kills and struck the ball at a .536 average. UML was held to just nine kills and compiling a .138 hitting percentage. 

The Wildcats and River Hawks jockeyed for the lead in set one, as the score was tied at eight. UMass Lowell constructed a 3-0 run, tallying kills from Anisa Smith and Megan Young, leading the 'Cats 11-9. New Hampshire stormed back, stringing together eight consecutive points, to capture the lead at 17-11. Forrest powered the Wildcats to a 25-16 first set victory, tallying two of her seven first set kills late in the stanza to lead 1-0.

UNH registered its best hitting percentage of the match, registering a .545 average in the second set and holding UML to a season low -.111 clip. Thatcher paced all hitters, posting a .800 percentage and registering four kills of UNH's 12 kills in the frame.

After exchanging the first two points, the Wildcats bolted to an 8-1 advantage. New Hampshire continued the pressure, registering kills from five different players to lead 20-6. Despite a River Hawks timeout, UNH capped off the frame on an eight-point run, capturing the second set, 25-6 and leading the match 2-0. 

Constructing a .290 hitting percentage in the third set, New Hampshire was paced by Thatcher, posting four kills in the frame. Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) racked up four of her seven blocks in the stanza, hindering the River Hawks attack to a -.086 average. 

Never trailing in the third set, UNH held a slight advantage early, leading 6-5. New Hampshire stringed together a 3-0 run, powered by a pair of kills from Forrest, giving the Wildcats a 9-5 lead. Brooke Peterson countered for UMass Lowell, ringing in two kills of her own, trailing the 'Cats, 10-8. UNH charged out to a 19-8 lead, earning nine straight points. In spite of a UML timeout, the Wildcats were able to seize the decisive set, 25-13, earning the straight set sweep. 

Volleyball concludes their last road contests of the regular season, trekking to Hartford and Providence. UNH takes on the Hawks on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m while the Friars host the 'Cats on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. New Hamoshire's next home game is against UMBC on Nov. 8 (7 p.m.).

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