NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College dropped a 3-1 final to Becker College on Saturday afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference women's volleyball showdown at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
In a match that was highly-contested throughout, the Hawks won by set scores of 25-22, 25-21, 27-29 and 25-22. Gillian Criddle led Becker with 14 kills and hit .231 while Kayla Dupree and Morgan Gould added 11 and nine kills, respectively. Joanna Bampi chipped in with a match-high 39 digs and Jenna Savoie came off the bench to record 30 assists and 19 digs.
Ariana Carter finished with a career-high 14 kills and a match-high four blocks to lead Mitchell. Laurissa Amaker contributed a double-double of 10 kills and 29 digs, and Nikki Gerald added nine kills while Courtney Cappabianca tallied a career-high eight. Cameron Childs also recorded a double-double with 31 assists and 26 digs.
In the opening set, Becker jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Mitchell responded with six straight on the serve of Childs. The Mariners later took their largest lead at 15-9 before the Hawks began to chip away, eventually tying the score at 18-18. Becker pulled in front on a Mitchell attack error and then padded the lead behind back-to-back aces from Sofia Cullina. The final point of the set came on a kill by Criddle to put the Hawks up 1-0.
The second set was tight until late. With the score tied at 16-16, Becker won four straight points to take its largest lead. The Hawks then used the cushion to close out the set, with Dupree and Gould each contributing three kills in the stanza.
The Hawks jumped out to another 5-0 lead in the third set, but Mitchell rallied to win nine of the next 12 points to grab a 9-8 lead. From that point on neither side led by more than three, although late it looked like Becker would clinch the victory in straight sets. However, the Mariners fought off three match points, and a kill by Carter and ace by Amaker forced the match into a fourth set.
With the score knotted at 21-21 in the fourth, a series of errors by the Mariners handed the Hawks three straight points. After a kill by Gerald kept Mitchell alive for another rally, Criddle closed out the match with her 14th and final kill to secure the win for Becker.
Mitchell (2-13 overall, 1-4 NECC) will next play at Bay Path University on Wednesday, October 17 at 8 p.m. Becker (9-7 overall, 3-2 NECC) returns to action at Lesley University on Monday, October 15 at 7 p.m.