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Dartmouth Nets Two Wins on Day One of the Big Green Invitational

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By Doug Austin

HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth women’s volleyball team opened its 2013 home schedule with a pair of wins during the first day of the Big Green Invitational on Friday at Leede Arena.

In their opener, the Big Green (4-1) crusied to a 3-0 triumph against Central Connecticut State and in the nightcap the team from the Upper Valley netted a 3-1 victory versus Manhattan.

Dartmouth and CCSU battled early in the first game of their match, trading the first 20 points. With the score knotted at 10, head coach Erin Lindsey’s squad went on a 7-1 run thanks to a trio of kills by junior co-captain Lucia Pohlman. The Blue Devils fought back to tie it at 24 apiece before an attack error and a kill by freshman Molly Kornfeind gave the Big Green a 1-0 lead.

In the second and third sets, Dartmouth held the Central Connecticut State attack at bay with stout defense and good ball control. During the contest, Dartmouth had a season high 14 blocks as Pohlman and fellow co-captain Elisa Scudder had 10 and 12 block assists each.

Against the Blue Devils, Kornfeind paced the Green and White attack with a career-best 17 kills. Paige Caridi added 7 kills of her own while Stacey Benton and Kayden Cook combined for 40 assists. Holly Harper contributed a game-high 20 digs.

After a one-match layover during the tournament, Dartmouth returned to the court to face Manhattan in the finale. The Jaspers and the Big Green traded blows throughout the contest and the game was much closer than the 3-1 score indicates.

The Green and White rallied late in each of the first two sets to jump out to a 2-0 lead. After dropping the third game, Dartmouth rallied once again in the fourth game to top the Jaspers and escape with a victory.

The defense was on point once again as they produced 10 blocks and 71 digs versus Manhattan. Caridi led the way with 16 digs and Harper added 10.

Offensively, Scudder had 11 kills and a team-best .364 hitting percentage while Caridi added 10 kills of her own. Benton continues to impress early in the season with her setting as she dished out 37 assists.

The four-match winning streak for Dartmouth is the second best under Lindsey as the Big Green won five in a row during her first season at the helm in 2011.

Dartmouth wraps up the 2013 Big Green Invitational Saturday, Sept. 14 as it takes on Providence and Grand Canyon inside Leede Arena. The game with the Friars is set for 2:30 p.m. and the contest with the Lopes begins at 7 p.m.