DURHAM, N.H. – Senior right side hitter Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) registered her 300th career block, helping the University of New Hampshire volleyball team to a 3-0 victory against Hartford at Lundholm Gymnasium Sunday afternoon. The set scores were 25-22, 25-19 and 25-15.
New Hampshire has won its last three home games, all in straight sets, improving to 10-11 overall and 4-1 in America East play. Hartford falls to 8-14, 2-4.
Tolliver joined the 300-block club in the second set, becoming the fifth player in program history to reach the milestone. The senior co-captain recorded seven kills, four blocks and compiled a team-high .500 hitting percentage in the victory.
Sophomore outside hitter Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) paced the Wildcats offensively, matching a career-high 18 kills and hitting at a .395 clip. Senior outside hitter Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) chipped in on offense, notching 13 kills. Junior setter Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) orchestrated the offense to a .264 hitting percentage and dished out 35 assists. Madison Lightfoot paced the defensive effort, tallying 23 digs and inhibit the Hawks to a .147 hitting average.
In set one, the Hawks and Wildcats exchanged the first 10 points at five apiece. The teams continue to alternate points to push the score to 10-10. Hartford managed to carve out a 14-12 lead on a kill by Sareeta Nethersole. However, Thatcher powered the 'Cats to a 3-1 run, recording a trio of kills to level the score at 15 all. Freshman middle blocker Demi Muses (Orangevale, Calif.) tallied back-to-back blocks followed by a Forrest kill to give the Wildcats an 18-16 edge late in the first stanza.
After a Hartford timeout, the Hawks rallied to even the score at 22, fueled by a pair of kills from Corrine Horanzy. New Hampshire responded, Thatcher and Muses each struck kills, giving the Wildcats the 1-0 lead and taking the opening set 25-22.
Hartford opened the second stanza, taking a 5-3 advantage. UNH managed to quickly even the score at seven as Thatcher, Forrest and Muses all tallied kills. New Hampshire took a 12-9 lead midway through the set as Forrest added three more kills to her tally.
The Hawks battled back, chipping away at the 'Cats lead. Dionna Kirton was able to narrow Hartford's deficit to at 18-17, powered by consecutive kills. UNH retaliated as co-captains Thatcher and Tolliver each registered kills, forcing a Hawks' timeout. Despite the timeout, the Wildcats were able to capture the second set 25-19 and take a 2-0 lead.
In the third set, the Wildcats held the early advantage, leading 9-6. New Hampshire extended their lead to 16-8, aided by a pair of kills from Forrest and Tolliver. After a Hartford timeout, the Hawks cut the lead to six at 16-10. However, the Wildcats were able to take the decisive set on three consecutive points to win their third consecutive home game.
New Hampshire returns to action on the road to compete against Binghamton and Albany. The defending America East tournament champion Bearcats and Wildcats are slated to clash on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. The Great Danes welcome the 'Cats on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.