UNH Volleyball: The Wildcats fall to Bryant but bounce back against Stonehill

Nick Menounos, Sports Writer

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) volleyball team was back in action last weekend with two more America East games. The first of which was a win against the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders, three sets to one. 

After a lopsided 25-16 win in the first set, the game tightened up. The Wildcats took the second set by a score of 27-25, followed by a 30- 28 loss. UNH was able to rebound with a 25-22 win and secure the game in the fourth set. 

The Wildcats had strong contributions from several of their key players. Junior libero Mia Pagliarini led the team in aces with four and digs with 20. Senior setter Wren Macaulay was the team leader with 30 digs. Leading the team in scoring was first-year middle blocker Kara Oxenknecht who had 15. 

Following their exciting win, the Wildcats dropped their second and final game of the weekend to the Bryant Bulldogs in three consecutive sets. UNH was able to keep the first and third sets relatively close, losing 25-20 and 25-21 respectively, with a lopsided 25-11 loss sandwiched in the middle set. The Wildcats were led in kills by junior outside hitter Hannah Serbousek with eight, and junior setter Camryn Honn in aces with two. 

Bryant led the game in all major statistical categories, a very lopsided win against an in-conference rival. The Bulldogs were led by Mia Cergol, who recorded a game-high 39 assists, and Alysa Wright, who had game-highs in both blocks and kills with five and 13. The Stonehill Skyhawks were the Wildcats’ next test. 

The struggling Skyhawks came in on a 7- game losing streak and a poor 1-17 record (0-7 on the road). The Wildcats were able to rebound well off their loss and record wins in 3 straight sets. They won by scores of 25-17, 25-19, and 25-10 to finish off the game. UNH’s first-year defensive specialist Avery Lepore had a game-high three aces. Pagliarini led the game in blocks with 15. 

UNH now stands at an overall record of 13-7 giving them a .650 winning percentage, which is the highest in the America East conference. Unfortunately, their mediocre 2-2 conference record puts them in fourth place within the conference.

The Wildcats return to action this Sunday, October 16th for a rematch against Binghamton at 1 p.m. in Vestal, New York. The Wildcats hope to fare better this time around, as they lost their first matchup to the Bearcats in consecutive sets.