Chicopee, Mass. – An all-around effort got the Becker College volleyball team off to a good start in New England Collegiate Conference play. The Hawks opened the league schedule by downing Elms College 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-18). Becker wasn't as successful in its second match of the day, losing 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-16) against St. Josephs' (Conn.).
With the split, the Hawks record goes to 7-8 overall.
Freshman Kayla Dupree (North Bergen, N.J.) nearly had a double-double in the opener with eight kills, nine digs to go along with four blocks and four aces. Senior Samantha Caouette (Montague, Mass.) had a team-high nine kills. Rookie Brittney Bullis (Stafford, Va.) notched 11 digs and setter Charlene Landry (Gorham, Maine) led the Hawks with 15 assists.
The Hawks' defense was strong against Elms with seven blocks and 48 digs. Becker also took advantage of Blazer miscues as the host committed 49 attacking, serving and receiving errors.
Strong play by the Hawks down the stretch was the difference in the first two sets. Tied at 18-18 in the first set, Becker closed the set on a 7-4 run that was capped by a Cheyenne Melanson (Sandown, N.H.) kill. Up 19-14 in the second set, the Hawks allowed Elms to even the match at 21-21. Tied at 24-24, Becker put the set away with kills from Dupree and Caouette.
Dupree and junior Marissa Turner (Coventry, R.I.) tied for the team lead with six kills each versus St. Joseph's. Dupree also added a team-high 11 digs. Freshman Kateyln Cotnoir (Douglas, Mass.) recorded 10 assists.
Early runs in the first and third sets were the difference in the second match for the Blue Jays. In the second set, a 13-13 match was turned St. Joseph's way by a 13-3 stretch. The Blue Jays had 16 aces, compared to just two for Becker and also held a .209-to-.078 advantage in hitting percentage.
The Hawks get back into conference action when they travel to Newbury for a 7 p.m. tilt on Tuesday (October 6). Becker plays host to crosstown rival Worcester State on Thursday.