Niagara University, N.Y.—The Niagara volleyball team picked up its first win of the season on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Kent State in three sets.

First Set

Niagara opened the match by going on a 5-2 run as they took the early lead in the set. Kent State rallied and tied the set at eight before the Purple Eagles built a 16-12 lead. Kent State came back and tied the set at 23. Following a Niagara timeout, the Purple Eagles took the next two points on kills from Payton Lee and Jenna Vogen to give the Purple Eagles the first set win.

Vogen had a team high three kills in the opening set while Lexi Bapst had two. Five Purple Eagles had one kill in the opening set. Kinga Wronska had five digs while Bella Peroni had three to start the match. Niagara had six aces in the first set with Peroni having three, Paisley Ka’ahanuiLaryssa Imbuzeiro, and Bapst each had an ace as well.

Second Set

The Purple Eagles and Golden Flashes opened the second set by each having mini runs until Niagara held a 6-4 lead after 10 points. Niagara went on a 14-8 run in the middle of the set to take a 20-12 lead. Niagara secured the set win by fending off a late set comeback and won the set 25-16.

Niagara tallied 13 kills in the second set with five different players recording a kill. Vogen and Bapst each had five kills while Wronska, Megan Bruno, and Imbuzeiro each had one kill. Lee and Bruno each had six block assists while Niagara had three blocks in the set. Wronska had nine of the teams 17 digs in the second set. Seven players recorded a dig in the set.

Third Set

Niagara entered the third set looking to secure its first win of the season while Kent State was looking to extend the match. The teams traded points throughout the whole set while the largest lead was just three as Niagara held a 10-7, 12-9, and a 14-11 lead. The set was tied 12 different times while the lead changed six times. With the score 21-20 in favor of Niagara, Kent State called a timeout, three points later with Niagara now leading 23-21, Kent State called its second timeout. Out of the timeout, they made it a 24-23 game in favor of Niagara when Niagara head coach Ren Cefra called his first timeout. Out of the timeout, Bapst closed out the match with a kill.

Bapst had seven kills in the third set to lead all players. Imbuzeiro had four kills while Lee and Vogen pitched in two kills in the set. Ka’ahanui had eight assists, Kylie Blessing added seven assists in the third set. Peroni had nine digs in the set while Wronska had five.

Niagara Notes

·       It is the first time in program history that Niagara has defeated Kent State, they are 1-2 all-time against the Golden Flashes.

·       Niagara last beat a team from the MAC on Sept. 16, 2016, as they defeated Buffalo at the Gallagher Center in four sets.

·       Kent State was limited to a .100 hitting percentage which is the worst among all Niagara opponents this season.

·       The Purple Eagles had a season high eight aces in the match with Peroni leading the way with three.

·       Both Bapst and Vogen had double digit kills, Bapst has double digit kills in the last three matches. It is the first time this season that Vogen registered double digit kills. Wronska is the team leader in kills with 59 while Vogen and Bapst sit second and third respectively.

·       Ka’ahanui had a match high 19 assists as she leads the team with 117 this season. She is ninth in the MAAC in assists per game at 4.18 but she leads all freshman in the conference. Her 117 assists is also the best among MAAC freshman, it also ranks her fifth in the MAAC overall.

·       Bapst is hitting .217 this season which ranks her sixth in the MAAC, she is also ninth in the MAAC in kills per set at 2.50.

·       Imbuzeiro is second in the MAAC in blocks per set at 1.18 but is tied for the lead in total blocks at 33. Lee ranks sixth in blocks per set at 0.86.

·       Wronska and Peroni both rank in the top 10 in the MAAC in digs as Wronska averages 3.19 digs per set and Peroni averaged 2.96 digs per set.

Up Next

Niagara opens MAAC play on the road as they head to Connecticut to take on Quinnipiac on Sept. 16 and Fairfield on Sept. 17. Both matches are slated to start at 1 PM.

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