AIKEN, S.C. – Despite a combined 24 kills from freshmen Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Fla./ Palmer Trinity HS) and Kelsey Buckner (San Marino, Calif./San Marino HS), Bentley University dropped a 3-1 decision to USC-Aiken in non-conference women's volleyball Saturday evening at the Convocation Center. The scores were 21-25, 25-21, 25-14 and 25-21.
Earlier in the day, Bentley was blanked by unbeaten Armstrong Atlantic State University, the 17th-ranked team nationally in Division II.
The opening set against Aiken saw the Falcons take the early lead at 7-6 and never relinquish it Dominguez put down four kills in that one and both Buckner and freshman setter Alex Tator (Los Angeles, Calif./Marlborough School) had three.
The next three belonged to the Pacers, with Bentley never having the lead in either the second or third sets. In the fourth, USC-Aiken jumped in front 5-4 and remained ahead the rest of the match.
Leah Rodgers (Longwood, Fla.) led the 9-12 Pacers with 13 kills and a .360 hitting percentage, and the USC-Aiken defense featured eight blocks by Jessica Loper (McDonough, Ga.. Her efforts helped limited Bentley to a .188 hitting percentage.
Buckner led Bentley with 14 kills and eight digs, and Dominguez hit .412 with ten kills. Junior Grace Conner (Santa Barbara, Calif./San Marcos HS) also hit .412 and finished with nine kills. Tator delivered 36 assists, and freshman libero Lauren Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville HS) had a team-best 12 digs.
Armstrong, a perfect 20-0, overpowered the Falcons by the scores of 25-18, 25-11 and 25-7. The Pirates had their best hitting match of the season, finishing at .443, and Bentley had more attack errors than kills.
Five different Armstrong players had at least seven kills, with Lela Pittman (Carthage, Mo.) hitting at a .667 success rate with eight kills and no errors. Ashley Seal (Orlando, Fla.) averaged ten assists per set, and Pittman was involved in eight of her team's 11 blocks.
Buckner topped Bentley in kills with five.
Bentley, 8-10, returns to Northeast-10 Conference play Friday night at Saint Rose.