CAMBRIDGE, MA -- A red-hot St. Joseph's (ME) Monks attack took care of the Lynx in three sets Thursday night at Nicholas Athletics Center, 25-12, 25-10, 25-11.
St. Joseph's Kaela Murphy (Salem, MA/Bishop Fenwick) led all players with seven kills for the hot-hitting Monks, which benefitted from a perfect 5-5 (1.000) hitting performance from junior setter Kiah Begley (Berwick, ME/St. Thomas Acquinas), who also set a match-high 21 assists. Holly Bannister (Cumberland, ME/Greely) chipped in with five kills and only one error over eight attempts as the Monks improved to 7-2 with a third win in a row.
For Lesley (2-6), Kayla Henry (Saratoga Springs, NY/Central Catholic) and Megan Ortwein (Shanghai, China/American School) tied for team-high honors with five kills, Henry hitting a team-high .118 and Ortwein leading the defense with eight digs.
Lesley jumped out to early leads in the first two sets, but the Monks inevitably proved too strong every game. The Lynx led 3-0 after opening the night with a pair of service aces from setter Kaitlyn Miller (Leesport, PA/Schuylkill Valley), but a 17-3 St. Joseph's run featuring three Murphy kills, two from Begley and six Lynx errors sent the Monks on their way to a 25-12 win in the opener.
A pair of early Henry kills put Lesley out in front, 4-2, in the middle set and a Monks setting error put the Lynx up 8-7, prompting a timeout from St. Joe's head coach Yamile Nolan. It was the only timeout she needed all night, as Murphy responded with a pair of kills that put the visitors ahead 10-8.
A kill from Lesley's Miller pulled the Lynx back to within three, at 13-10, but an amazing five consecutive service aces from Jordan Pelczar (Meredith, NH/Inter-Lakes) sparked a 10-0 run with Pelczar serving to close out a 25-10 Monks win.
St. Joseph's led Game 3 from the onset, scoring six straight points with Kristin Palladino (Exeter, NH/Exater) serving to take an 8-3 lead. The Monks attack that posted a .363 percentage for the match hit a whopping .450 in the final set as St. Joseph's coasted to a 25-11 win.
Lesley is in action again on Tuesday at Suffolk, while St. Joe's returns to Great Northeast Athletic Conference play, hosting Emerson and Johnson & Wales for a Saturday tri-match.