DUDLEY, Mass. - Bison junior Megan Gardner (South Deerfield, Mass.) finished with a match-high 11 kills while hitting .321 from the floor, helping lead Nichols College to a 3-0 (27-25, 25-12, 25-16) victory over the Newbury Nighthawks on Wednesday night at Nichols Athletic Complex in Newbury's first match of the 2018 season.
Bison senior Sabrina Boermeester (Billerica, Mass.) finished the match with nine kills. Freshman Jayleen Fegan (Mansfield Center, Conn.) added seven kills and a team-high 13 digs.
Nighthawks sophomore Monica Bolduk (Vernon, Conn.) finished with a team-high eight kills to go with 10 digs. Freshman Amanda Payne (Millis, Mass.) finished her first career college contest with a match-high 16 digs.
In the opening set, it was the Nighthawks who controlled the action early on, capped off by a 6-1 run to lead 12-7, forcing a Nichols timeout. Newbury kept their distance through much of the middle of the set, but the Bison recovered with their own 6-1 run to now lead 19-17.
With the set closing down and the score tied at 23-23, the Nighthawks took the lead 24-23 on a kill by sophomore Stephanie Rheaume (Hampton, N.H.), but couldn't cap the set on the next point due to a service error. After trading points to 25-25, the Bison closed the door on a Nighthawks error and kill by Gardner to win the first set 27-25.
In the second, the Bison controlled early, winning 13 of the first 17 points to lead 13-4. The Nighthawks could only pull within seven as Nichols walked to the 25-12 second set win.
In the final set, the Nighthawks claimed the first four points, but the Bison roared back with a 12-2 run to take a 12-6 lead. The Nighthawks managed to close to within a point, but a Bison 7-2 stretch put the set out of reach and Nichols took the third set 25-16, winning in straight sets.
The Bison move to 2-2 with the win while the Nighthawks start the season at 0-1. Newbury returns to play on Saturday with a tri-match at Mount Holyoke College, where they will face off against the Lyons, as well at Pratt College.