KEENE, N.H. -- Despite a double-double from senior co-captain Jess Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.), the University of Southern Maine women's volleyball team dropped a hard-fought, 3-0 decision (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) to host Keene State College in a Little East Conference match Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
The loss was just the second in the last 13 matches for the Huskies and snapped their four-match wining streak. USM is now 16-6 overall and 1-3 in LEC play. The Owls won their second straight to improve to 19-3 overall and remain undefeated in the conference at 4-0.
The Huskies rallied from an eight-point deficit (20-12) in the first set to close within three (24-21), highlighted by a pair of kills from Williamson and senior Mo Raymond (Sanbornton, N.H./Winnisquam), before falling. The second set was nip and tuck until the Owls went on a 7-0 to take a 24-17 lead. USM responded with a 6-0 run to get back within one, but fell on a kill by rookie setter Bailey Wilson (Moorpark, Calif.).
In the decisive third set, the Huskies built a 14-11 lead before the Owls went an 8-2 spurt to take the lead 19-16. The Owls took five of the next eight points to get to match point (24-19), but the Huskies fought back winning four consecutive points to get within one before senior Rachel Lamica (Malone, N.Y.) closed the match with her 14th kill of the day.
Williamson earned her 11th double-double of the season knocking down a match-high 18 kills and posting a match-high 16 digs. Raymond finished with nine kills, and sophomore Faolain Harrington (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) had eight kills and four service aces.
Junior setter Nicole Schmitz (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) directed the USM offense dishing out 33 assists. Schmitz was one dig shy of a double-double digging up nine balls. Senior libero Mariah Garcia (Brighton, Colo./Central) had 12 digs.
Lamica led the Owls with 14 kills and 14 digs for a double-double. Junior Niamh Dodd (Mahopac, N.Y.) contributed nine kills, and sophomore Olivia Mathieu (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) chipped in with seven. Wilson dished out 35 assists to go along with three kills and seven digs. Junior Riley Bunker (Simi Valley, Calif.) dug up 11 balls.
Southern Maine will travel to Colby-Sawyer College on Wednesday (7:00 p.m.) for a non-conference match. Keene State heads to the University of Massachusetts Boston on Wednesday (6:00 p.m.) for a battle of the two unbeaten team in the LEC.