Poucher ’21 guides volleyball to a dominating sweep over Utica

Photo by Josh McKee
Photo by Josh McKee
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Dorothy Poucher '21 smashed a match-best 14 kills and the Continentals recorded a three-set win against the Utica College Pioneers in non-conference volleyball action at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton (8-13 overall) posted set scores of 25-11, 25-22 and 25-21.

Poucher hit .412 with zero errors in 34 attempts. Kendall Boxe '22 also came away with zero errors in 11 attempts, hitting a season-best .727 with eight kills. Claire Kitz '19 racked up 10 kills and three blocks, and Meghan Wilkinson '19 dished out 22 assist in the final match of their Hamilton careers. Nikki Matsuoka '21 posted 21 digs and served up two aces, and Stephanie Milam '21 had nine digs and three service aces.

Nicole Herringshaw led Utica (5-22) with seven kills and three block assists. Megan Rice had six kills, Hannah Voss picked up 12 digs and Marissa Faroni totaled nine assists.

Kills from Rice and Meaghan Romaguera gave Utica a 2-1 lead to open the first set but Hamilton surged back with five unanswered points. The Pioneers immediately responded with two straight points before the Continentals went on a 14-2 run for a comfortable 20-6 lead. An ace by Wilkinson made the score 23-10, and Hamilton closed the set with a kill from Jo Dine '22 and a Utica attack error.

Hamilton hit .425 and totaled 21 kills in the second set. Again, Utica jumped out to an early lead with three straight points. Back-to-back Hamilton kills from Boxe and Jane Fanning '22 tied the score 7-7. An ace from Matsuoka tied the match again at 9-9,  which sparked four more unanswered points to give Hamilton the lead for good. Utica got within three points at 21-19 off a Hamilton ball handling error. Poucher scored three of Hamilton's final four points to win the set.

Utica refused to go away quietly in a back-and-forth third set. Hamilton took control after Boxe slammed a kill to tie the score 16-all. Matsuoka immediately followed with an ace and the Continentals followed suite with a 6-2 run for a 23-18 advantage. Poucher and Boxe smashed the final two kills for the match win.

The contest was the Continentals' final of the 2018 campaign. Poucher guided the offense throughout the season with 172 kills and an average of 2.26 kills per set. Emma Parkhurst '21 totaled 354 assists for an average of 4.72 assists per set. Boxe controlled the net with a team-high 44 total blocks. Matsuoka racked up 399 digs through 76 sets (5.25), ranking her third on the NESCAC leaderboard in total digs and digs per set. Poucher and Boxe are also part of the conference leaderboard, ranking fourth (14) and eighth (11) in solo blocks, respectively.