Volleyball claims MASCAC title, move on to NCAA Tournament

The women’s volleyball team has moved on to the NCAA Division III Tournament, where they will face Brockport State. (Photo by Brad Leuchte)

Framingham State faced Westfield State in a MASCAC semifinal game on Nov. 7. The 3-1 win was earned by the Rams, winning set one 25-16, losing the second set 25-23 and winning the last two, both at 25-22.

The first set was led by Danielle Girard and Sara Malicka’s serves, making it 8-2. Westfield soon caught up and surpassed the Rams with four consecutive kills by outside hitter Shannon Shea. The Owls were kept at 16 points while the Rams extended their lead. The set ended with a kill from Annie DeLoid and a service ace from Alycia Rackliffe.

The second set was more difficult for the Rams, battling back and forth throughout its entirety. Despite Rackliffe’s five service points, FSU was held at 23 while Westfield won the set with a kill from Casey Doremus and an attack error on Framingham.

Westfield started the third set ahead, and the teams battled throughout the duration of it. With the Rams still behind, Julia Wan’s three service points won the set with help from Girard and Mackenzie Webster.

Set four consisted of an early Rams lead until the Owls pulled ahead 16-11. Malicka’s three service points were matched with Westfield’s three points to make it 20-15, WSU. With the potential to play set five, Rackliffe dominated with five service points, two of which were aces. Westfield was kept at 22 points while the Rams finished them off with kills by Girard and Megan Leavens to win the game.

Rackliffe finished the game with 22 kills, five service aces and 19 digs. Wan totaled 11 kills and led the team with four blocks. Girard had 10 kills in the game and 24 digs. Sarah Leonard reached a season high of 51 assists and 19 digs.

The opposing Westfield State’s Shannon Shea had 16 kills and 22 digs. Courtney Ryan trailed Leonard with 40 assists. Lizzie Taylor contributed three service aces and 26 digs.

With the win, the Rams moved onto the MASCAC finals against MCLA.

Framingham State beat MCLA in the MASCAC championship. The Rams won the first three sets 25-21, 26-24 and 25-21 ending in a 3-0 win.

Rackliffe contributed 20 of the 40 kills in the game as well as two service aces, 18 digs and four blocks. Leonard had 30 assists of the team total 34 and two service aces. Wan totaled three blocks on the night.

Outside hitter Allison Clark led the Trailblazers with 11 kills. Setter Courtney Parent had 15 assists while Brittany Pihl achieved a season-high 31 digs. Angelica Perfido totaled two service aces and Rachel Mills led the team with seven blocks.

The game began with MCLA on top until the Rams tied it at 11. The Rams pulled ahead with kills from Girard and Rackliffe to make it 21-18, FSU. Keeping the Trailblazers at 21 points, Framingham won the set with two final kills from DeLoid.

Set two began with a 6-2 lead and the Rams stayed ahead until MCLA surpassed them at 22-19, primarily from Clark’s six service points. With the Trailblazers at 24, Framingham got the ball back with a combined block from Leonard and Webster and Leonard gained four service points with the help of Rackliffe’s four kills to win the set.

After winning the first two sets, the Rams fell behind in the third. After tying at 6 and 7 points, Framingham took the lead. Rackliffe scored the match point with a kill and the game was won due to an attack error on the Trailblazers.

The victory is the second MASCAC Tournament win for the Rams, who also won the title in the 2014 season.

Framingham State will play in the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship Tournament in New York on Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. against Brockport State.

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