Pride sweep Lesley, grab first place

WESTON, Mass. – In a matchup between the top two teams in the New England Collegiate Conference, Regis College pulled out a 3-0 victory over Lesley University on Wednesday night in NECC action in Weston, Mass. The Pride (19-10, 7-0 NECC) grab sole possession of first place with the win over the Lynx (14-8, 6-1 NECC).

The Crimson and Gold used set scores of 25-21, 25-20, and 25-14 in the victory as the Pride celebrated their annual senior night by honoring Jackie Silver (West Hills, Calif.) for all of her contributions to Regis College and its athletic department.

Regis and Lesley battled back-and-forth to start the match as the Pride trailed 9-8 early in game one following a Silver and Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas) block. Lesley took advantage of four-straight Pride errors to jump out to a 14-9 lead, but a Bartels kill sparked a 7-1 run for Regis - capped off by a Caroline Fuentes (Downey, Calif.) service ace - to force a Lesley timeout with the Lynx trailing 16-15.

A Silver kill extended the Pride lead to 20-17, and they never looked back as another Silver kill ended game one with the Pride on top 25-21.

In game two, back-to-back kills from Haley Schulte (Fullerton, Calif.) and Bartels put the Pride on top 13-8 and forced another Lynx timeout. Two more kills from Bartels gave the Pride a 15-8 advantage, but Lesley would not go away. Kaylee Deluga (Dennis, Mass.) nailed a kill and then put down a service ace to cap off a 5-2 run that cut the deficit to only 17-14. The two teams traded points the rest of the game but Lesley would come no closer than three as the Pride held on for a 25-20 win.

Set three was all Regis as three Nicole Connolly (San Mateo, Calif.) aces sandwiched around a Jackie Silver kill gave Regis a 17-7 lead they would not relinquish as the Pride built leads in excess of 13 points to cruise to a 25-14 win and the 3-0 sweep of Lesley.

Haley Schulte set a new career-high with 10 kills as part of a double-double to go with 11 assists, five digs, one block, and one ace. Rachel Bartels added eight kills and three blocks, while Graciella Molinari (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Jackie Silver posted seven kills apiece, with Molinari leading Regis with 10 digs. Nicole Connolly added four kills, six assists, four aces, five digs, and a pair of blocks. Crystina Lathrop (Houston, Texas) led the Pride with 18 assists.

Lesley was paced by eight kills, eight digs, and a pair of aces from Kaylee Deluga. Ciara Bruning (Centerville, Mass.) chipped in five kills, while Emily Marden (Fremont, Calif.), Anthea Rathjens (Sudbury, Mass.) and Sarah Hollis (Hudson, Mass.) had two kills apiece. Marden added 15 assists and seven digs, with Danielle McDonald (Lilitz, Pa.) posting a team-high 10 digs.

Regis will try and wrap up the top seed in the upcoming NECC postseason when they travel to Southern Vermont College on Friday night in a 5:00 p.m. league match. Lesley hosts Elms College on Saturday night in a 6:00 p.m. conference tilt.