NEW LONDON, Conn.--Freshman Ashley Adams had a team-high 12 kills in her collegiate debut while senior Eryn Miller had a match-high 27 digs leading Eastern Connecticut to a season opening 3-1 win over host Coast Guard on the opening night of the Bear Classic.
Eastern Connecticut won 26-24, 20-25, 25-18, 25-22. The Warriors won the first game by fighting off a Coast Guard game point and scoring the final three points for the win. Coast Guard led the entire game until the Warriors took their first lead at 25-24.
The Bears evened things in the second game leading as the took an early 6-3 lead and never looked back.
In the third game, Coast Guard led 12-10 and it was tied 15-15 before the Warriors ran off five of the next six points for a 20-16 edge and went on to win 25-18.
Eastern closed out the match in the fourth game as they scored six straight to break a 15-15 tie opening up a 21-16 edge. Coast Guard closed to within 22-20, but the Bears fell short.
Senior Kelsey Deporto had a match-high 15 kills to lead Coast Guard while sophomore Kelsey Hickle added ten kills and 14 digs. Senior libero Samantha Marmolejo led the Bears wtih 18 digs while sophomore Maggie Hine registered a match-high 41 assists.
In the first match of the night, junior Katie Hall had a team-high 11 kills while freshman Mary Tobin added ten kills and 17 digs in her collegiate debut leading Stevens to a 3-1 win over Colby Sawyer.
Senior Samantha Gates led the Ducks with a match-high 38 assists while junior Kirsten Salmins led the way with a match-high 23 digs in the win.
Colby Sawyer jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first game before Stevens ran off 11 of the next 14 points for a 13-8 lead. The Ducks scored the final four points of the first game for a 25-16 win.
The Chargers rallied to even things in the second game by scoring the final nine points of the game turning a 21-16 deficit into a 25-21 win. Stevens jumped out to a 5-0 lead in that game and never trailed until it was 22-21.
Stevens jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third game, but a 9-4 spurt gave the Chargers a 10-9 edge. The Ducks scored six of the next seven for a 15-11 lead before Colby Saywer scored eight of the next ten for a 19-17 advantage. The Chargers led 21-20 before Stevens scored five of the final six to win the game 25-22.
In the fourth and final game, Stevens scored the final eight points breaking a 17-17 tie and ending the match with a 25-17 win.
Senior Courtney O'Hara and junior Jackie Keating each had 11 kills to lead Colby Sawyer while senior Ally Le-Bruno had a team-high 22 digs and sophomore Laura Smolinski had a team-best 34 assists.
Each team will play two more matches in the Bear Invitational on Saturday with play beginning at 9 a.m.
POST GAME COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH AYLENE ILKSON