NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's volleyball team got off to a good start in New England Collegiate Conference play on Saturday afternoon, defeating Becker College by a 3-0 final at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners (4-7 overall, 1-0 NECC) won by set scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-21 in the opening weekend of conference play. Freshman Amanda Garcia finished with a season- and match-high 15 kills and hit .452 on the day. Senior Arianna Thomas contributed eight kills, 12 assists and 11 digs while junior Gloria Charles handed out a match-high 15 assists.
Becker (1-13 overall, 0-1 NECC) was led by Katelyn Burns, who finished with 10 kills and 14 digs. Joanna Slomiak chipped in with 11 assists and eight digs while Danielle Robbie had 22 digs.
The first set was tied at 14-14 when Mitchell won six of the next seven points to pull away. Senior Kendra Erskine had a kill and served for three straight points during the stretch, including the ace that gave the Mariners a 20-15 lead. Seven different players recorded kills for Mitchell for a team total of 15 in the set, while Burns and Jacqueline Chila combined for all but one of Becker's nine kills.
Mitchell took its first lead of the second set at 10-9 and never trailed again. Becker later trailed 20-15 before making a late push to cut the deficit to 23-21, but an attack error by the Hawks left the Mariners with set point. Thomas then closed the door with a service ace, one of nine for Mitchell in the contest.
The Mariners raced out to a big lead in the third set and were up 17-8 before the Hawks fought their way back. Becker won 10 of the next 11 points to knot the score at 18-18, with Chila and Robbie each serving for four points during the run.
Mitchell never fell behind and regained its composure for a strong finish. Leading 22-21, the Mariners closed out the match behind three straight kills, the final two coming from Garcia. Garcia recorded seven kills and a block in the final set to propel Mitchell to victory.
Freshman Kaisea Caramante led the Mariners on the defensive side with 22 digs while classmate Nicole Caminiti added 13 digs and four service aces. As a team, Mitchell hit a season-high .129 for the match.
Mitchell will next host Bay Path College on Tuesday, October 2 at 6 p.m.