2017 Little East Offensive Player of the Year (Jess Williamson)

USM Falls to Framingham State and Newbury

Junior Renee Trottier (#3) and sophomore Ali Stewart (#7) look to block in an early-season match against Maine Maritime.
Junior Renee Trottier (#3) and sophomore Ali Stewart (#7) look to block in an early-season match against Maine Maritime.

USM Falls to Framingham State and Newbury

            BROOKLINE, Mass. -- The University of Southern Maine volleyball team's attempt to rally from a 2-0 deficit came up short against Newbury College on Saturday as the Huskies fell 3-1 (15-25, 14-25, 25-19, 23-25) in a non-conference match at Hellenic College.

            The Huskies (8-2) opened their day having their season-opening eight-match winning streak snapped by Framingham State University 3-0 (14-25, 17-25, 23-25).  Framingham State (7-2) beat Newbury (5-4) in the opening match 3-0 (25-14, 25,16, 25-21).

            In the Huskies' opening match, the Rams got off to a fast start comfortably taking the opening two sets (25-14, 25-17).  The Huskies battled hard in the third set before falling by two points (25-23).  Freshman Jessica Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) led the USM attack with 11 kills.  Sophomore Ali Stewart (Madbury, N.H./Oyster River) contributed five kills on 10 attacks, and junior Renee Trottier (Biddeford, Maine) contributed four kills and had eight digs.  Sophomore Megan Nilson (Granby, Conn.) dished out 21 assists, and sophomore Mariah Garcia (Brighton, Colo./Central) had a team-high 10 digs.

            Sophomores Alycia Rackliffe (Feeding Hills, Mass./Agawam) and Julia Wan (South Deerfield, Mass./Frontier Regional) combined for 23 kills for the Rams who hit for a .265 team percentage (40-13-102). Rackliffe had 12 kill on 24 attacks while Wan had 11 kills and just one error on 20 attacks (.500 hitting percentage), and served up six aces.  Senior Maribeth Martin (Barnstable, Mass.) had 15 assists and senior Morgan Drew (South Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) had 12 assists.  Sophomore Sara Malicka (Southington, Conn.) dug up a match-high 17 balls.

            Against Newbury, the Huskies again fell behind 2-0 before rallying to take the third set (25-19).  The Huskies and Nighthawks battled throughout the fourth set before the Nighthawks prevailed 25-23.

            Williamson led the attack for USM with 18 kills.  Junior Jessica Garrett (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) had eight kills and rookie Monica Raymond (Sanbornton, N.H./Winnisquam) had seven.  Nilson posted 32 assists, and Garcia and Trottier each had 12 digs for the Huskies.

            Sophomore Courtney Banks (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and rookie Lina Miranda (Brockton, Mass.) combined for 40 kills for the Nighthawks.  Banks had 22 kills (.528 hitting percentage) and Miranda had 18 (.359 hitting percentage).  Freshman setter Heather Parish (Tucson, Ariz./Rincon) quarterbacked the Nighthawks' offense with 50 assists.  Freshman Julia Leggett (Longview, Wash./R.A. Lang) had a match-high 16 digs.

            Southern Maine looks to start a new winning streak on Thursday (7:00 p.m.) hosting Regis College at the Warren Hill Gymnasium in Gorham.