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Dartmouth Drops Five-Set Heartbreaker to Brown

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By John and Matt Risley
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Dartmouth women’s volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to Brown in Ivy League action on Friday night inside the Pizzitola Center.

After falling behind 2-1, the Big Green (7-7, 0-2 Ivy League) won the fourth set to force a decisive fifth game. In game five, the Bears (5-8, 1-1 Ivy League) took an early 7-3 lead before the Green and White fought back and tied it at nine. Down the stretch, both teams had chances to put the other away, but timely offensive and solid defense kept the Ancient Eight foes alive.

Later in the set, the ivy rivals traded blows and the Big Green took a 14-13 advantage on a Stacey Benton kill. As the freshman prepared to set the ball the Brown defense began to shift and Benton perfectly placed the ball between two opposing players. With Benton serving for the match, the Bears answered with a Maddie Lord kill. After an attack error gave Brown a 15-14 lead, the Bears put the game away thanks to an Amanda Nickel kill.

“It was a hard fought match and it’s good to see us getting back into our groove offensively and defensively. We had a strong game, but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities in games two and three,” Dartmouth head coach Erin Lindsey said.

Offensively, freshman Molly Kornfeind paced a balanced attack with 12 kills. Classmate Emily Astarita, sophomore Paige Caridi and senor co-captain Elisa Scudder each added 11 kills for the Big Green. Benton was the main table-setter once again for Dartmouth, dishing out 33 assists and adding three kills.

Defensively, the team from the Upper Valley had eight total team blocks and 46 digs. Kaira Lujan had her best game of the season on the defensive end, registering one solo block and four block assists. Scudder continues to climb up the Big Green record books, adding two block assists. The Ashburn, Va., native is now tied for the school’s all-time record.

“I was really happy to see our top four players each register more than 10 kills. We are doing a better job of distributing the ball and giving more players opportunities and swings,” Lindsey added.

After being shutout in three consecutive matches, Dartmouth showed grit, rallying on the road to force a fifth game. The Big Green have now lost four straight matches. Brown scored the games final three points to pick up its first conference win of the season. For the first time this season, Dartmouth had four players with double digit kill totals.

The Big Green wrap up their Ivy League road weekend tomorrow, Oct. 5, traveling to New Haven to square off with Yale at 5 p.m. Dartmouth is looking for its first win inside Lee Amphitheater since October of 2001.