How it Happened
Rhode Island (6-6) went 2-1 at this weekend's Sacred Heart Hampton Inn by Hilton Shelton Invitational, picking up a pair of wins over Binghamton (3-0) and NJIT (3-1) before falling to the host Pioneers in five sets.
In Friday night's match against Binghamton (1-10) Rhode Island never trailed in the first set, easing its way to a 25-20 victory. Rhody edged the Bearcats 25-23 in the second set, hitting a match-best .417 with 18 kills on 36 total attacks. The Rams' defense closed things in the third, limiting Binghamton to just nine kills while winning the set by a score of 25-16.
In its first of two Saturday matches, URI opened with a four-set victory over NJIT (1-11). After the Rams claimed the first set 25-16, the Highlanders evened things up with a 25-17 victory in the second set. The third set was all Rhody as NJIT managed just three kills and hit -.156, falling to the Rams 25-13. Rhode Island closed things out in the fourth set, winning 25-22 to improve to 2-0 on the weekend.
In Saturday's finale against the host Pioneers (7-4), Rhode Island led 2-1 after three sets, but Sacred Heart rallied back with a 25-16 win in the fourth set to level the score at two apiece. Rhody's lone lead of the fifth set was at 1-0. After the Pioneers used a 10-4 run to distance themselves, Rhode Island clawed its way back and tied things up at 14-14. Sacred Heart claimed the next two points however, completing the 3-2 victory.
Inside the Box Score
- Junior Jenna McGuire and sophomore Claire Chaplinsky both were named to the All-Tournament team.
- McGuire led the Rams defensively, collecting 12 blocks - including one solo - with 16 kills, two assists and a pair of digs.
- Chaplinsky combined for 35 kills, seven digs and five blocks.
- Redshirt sophomore Natale Zanellato led Rhode Island with 36 kills on the weekend. She also added 14 digs, two blocks and two service aces.
- Senior Lauren Pick finished the tournament with 111 assists over three matches. She also contributed 28 digs, four block assists, six kills and two aces.
- Senior Olivia Budinich (40) and freshman Ella Ratzloff (26) combined for 66 digs on the weekend. Both players added three service aces.
- Freshman Mariah Paulette registered 23 kills, six blocks, four digs and one service ace.
- Freshman Zoe Staats collected 19 kills. She also had four block assists and four digs.
The Rams are back in action next Saturday, when they open Atlantic 10 play at Fordham.