Rhode Island College junior Breanna Boyer and freshman Marina Stoermer each had a dozen kills but it wasn’t enough as the Keene State Owls handled the RIC women’s volleyball easily by a score of 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference Tournament. The loss ended the Anchorwomen’s season. The Owls advanced in the LEC Tournament, but were eliminated in the semifinal round.
The Anchorwomen came into the contest as the six-seed obvious underdog against three-seeded Keene State, who had already beaten the Anchorwomen during the regular season and held a home-court advantage. Despite bring underdogs, the Anchorwomen came out confident in the first set and took the early 1-0 lead. The Owls were face-to-face with set point but got back within one at 24-23, but that was as close as the Owls would get because RIC freshman setter Lauren Plante delivered a kill to put RIC up 1-0.
That, evidently was as close at RIC would get to winning, as the Owls let loose, with Keene State senior Bridget O’Bryant securing the final two points of the 25-20 second set to even things up. Midway through the third set, the Owls and Anchorwomen were knotted at 12 until Keene State rallied off five straight points leading to a 25-17 set win. With the set victory, Keene State needed just one more set set to lock up an LEC semifinal appearance.
In the end, the Anchorwomen could not hold off Keene State’s attack as the Owls combined for a powerful 64 kills. O’Bryant finished with 25 kills, one short of a school record and also added 19 digs. Meanwhile, senior Ellyse Davis had 17 kills next to her name, and classmate Lauren Whalen assisted on 58 points. RIC freshman middle hitter Marina Stoermer and Boyer led the team kills while junior setter Jessica Ho dished out 33 assists and recorded 17 digs.
Keene State ultimately lost to national powerhouse UMass-Boston on Saturday, Nov. 5, who advanced to face top-seeded Plymouth State in the finals. Meanwhile, RIC will look ahead to 2012. Head coach Elysce Tackmann ended her first season with the Anchorwomen with 16 wins, an improvement of three games from 2010, and the main core of players, including Boyer, Stoermer, and Ho will be back next season.