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

USM Splits Tri-Match Falling to Framingham State, Beating Newbury

Senior co-captain Demi Ruder had 27 digs in a tri-match against Framingham State and Newbury College on Saturday.
Senior co-captain Demi Ruder had 27 digs in a tri-match against Framingham State and Newbury College on Saturday.

Williamson Posts a Double-Double in Both Matches

            GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine volleyball team split a pair of home matches at the Warren Hill Gymnasium on Saturday, falling to Framingham State University 3-1 (25-16, 25-14, 27-29, 25-18) in the opening match before defeating Newbury College 3-0 (25-11, 27-25, 25-19) in the final match of the day.

            In the middle match, Framingham took a 3-0 decision (25-14, 25-9, 25-19) over Newbury.  The split leaves the Huskies with a 4-3 overall record.  Framingham State improved to 6-1 overall while Newbury dropped to 1-6.

            Against Framingham, the Huskies got off to a sluggish start dropping the first two sets.  The Huskies rallied to take the third set before dropping the decisive fourth set.  Sophomore outside hitter Jess Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) recorded her second double-double of the season with 14 kills and 16 digs.  Classmate Mo Raymond (Sanbornton, N.H.) contributed eight kills.  Junior co-captain Megan Nilson (Granby, Conn.) had 23 assists and nine digs, and senior co-captain Demi Ruder (Grand Junction, Colo.) had a match-high 17 digs.

            The Huskies had no answer for FSU six-foot junior Alycia Rackliffe (Feeding Hills, Mass./Agawam).  Rackliffe had 17 kills with a .350 attack percentage (17-3-40) to lead the Rams front line.  Senior Danielle Girard (Tivoli, N.Y./Red Hook) added 11 kills, and senior Annie DeLoid (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) had eight.  Sophomore Sarah Leonard (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) passed out 28 assists, and rookie Mackenzie Whelan (Norton, Mass.) had 17 assists  The Rams also picked up 10 points blocking at the net.  DeLoid had seven block assists, and Rackliffe had a solo block and four assists.

            Southern Maine rebounded against Newbury as Williamson had her third straight double-double with 19 kills and 17 digs.  Raymond also reached double figures with 10 kills.  Nilson dished out 30 assists, and Ruder had 10 digs.

            For Newbury, junior Courtney Banks (Corona, Calif./Centennial) had a strong all-around match swinging for 15 kills and digging up 11 balls.  Classmate Kataya Sykes (Brockton, Mass.) had nine kills, and sophomore Marlen Reynoso (Springdale, Ark.) passed out 27 assists.

            In the FSU-Newbury match, all 15 players on the Rams' roster saw action.  Rackliffe had 12 kills to lead the attack.  Leonard (15) and Whalen (11) quarterbacked the offense, and Girard had a match-high 13 digs.  Banks had 14 kills, and Reynoso had 23 assists for Newbury.

            The Huskies go on the road Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) for their next match at Bates College.  Framingham State opens its MASCAC schedule on Tuesday (6:00 p.m.) traveling to Bridgewater State University.  Newbury hosts Eastern Nazarene College on Tuesday (7:00 p.m.)