BSU volleyball coming on strong as a unit after a bumpy start

Brendan Coughlin
Sports Editor

Goncalves_Framingham

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Bridgewater State University’s (BSU) women’s volleyball team had a clean sweep of four games last week, extending their current win streak to five.

Bridgewater competed in both the Springfield College Invitational and the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) to begin their season. Between the two tournaments, BSU dropped all eight games they competed in.

The Bears did squeeze out one win in their first month of play against Suffolk. Following the Wildcat Invitational, BSU dropped its first conference matchup of the season to Framingham St., 3-0.

One of BSU’s senior captains Clara Goncalves said, “It was extremely frustrating beginning the season with so many losses. It came to the point where we were 1-9. Trust me, it felt just as bad as it sounds.”

The young team only returned six of their members from the 2014 squad. That opened up the floor for eight new incoming freshman to make the final roster. Three of the freshman were initially worked into the starting lineup, which was a key factor in the team’s slow start.

“Those three freshman stepped up extremely but it was hard in the beginning to blend everyone together especially while playing such difficult teams so early on,” Goncalves added.

BSU has yet to taste defeat since their matchup with Framingham. The change of fortune started when the team traveled to UMass Dartmouth back on Sept. 15. The Bears dropped the first set, but prevailed in the following two sets 25-18 and 25-17.

Goncalves had a season-high 19 kills over the three sets. Over 52 sets this season, Goncalves has 115 kills, second on the team only to junior Hannah Maymon. Maymon ranks third in the MASCAC with her 133 kills, while Goncalves’ 115 is enough for fourth in the conference.

Bridgewater blanked Regis College (Weston, Mass.) on the road 3-0, and took down Curry on their home court in the Tinsley Center, 3-1.

Most importantly to the Bear’s season, they evened out their MASCAC record at 1-1 when they competed in a tri-meet matchup hosted by Salem State University this past Saturday afternoon.

First up for the Bears were the hosts of the match, Salem St. BSU swept through their divisional matchup. Kills by junior Charleyne Panner and senior Julie Hutchins closed out a close second set, allowing BSU to roll onto victory.

The match was followed up by BSU taking down Norwich University (Northfield, VT.) by another 3-0 sweep. Bridgewater went home with a satisfying feeling and a complete new attitude for the remainder of their season.

Goncalves said, “Our motto has grown to be “play for each other” and that togetherness has definitely helped us with our five-game winning streak and I know that streak will only keep going.”

Bridgewater volleyball will strive to continue their winning ways at the Tinsley Center Wednesday night against MASCAC opponent Worcester State. A win would be key for the team to get a step ahead in the conference standings before they head out to the Wildcat Classic at Johnson & Wales this weekend, where they will compete in four games.

Brendan Coughlin is the Sports Editor for The Comment.

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