BROOKLINE, Mass. - Nighthawks freshman Natalia Ortiz Arce (Humacao, P.R.) finished with a career-high 15 kills, leading the Nighthawks charge in their 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23) victory over the Dean Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at Pappas Gymnasium in New England Collegiate Conference play.
Ortiz Arce added two aces and six digs. Sophomore Stephanie Rheaume (Hampton, N.H.) added 10 kills and a career-high five aces. Sophomore Monica Bolduk (Vernon, Conn.) finished with eight kills and 14 digs.
Bulldogs junior Kait Anderson (Clinton, Mass.) finished with 15 kills and 11 digs and five aces. Senior Samantha Trullo (Chelmsford, Mass.) added eight kills and a team-high 16 digs.
The opening set was a back-and-forth battle for position with Newbury able to build a slim 23-19 lead at the end of the set. The Bulldogs were able to fight within two, but an attack error by Dean would finish the set in favor of the Nighthawks 25-22. The Nighthawks finished with 13 team kills in the set.
In the second, a 13-6 run would create space for the Nighthawks to lead 18-11. However, the Bulldogs continued to fight back, this time within three points but a Bolduk kill would finish the set before Dean could complete the comeback. The Nighthawks finished with another 13 team kills, winning the set 25-21.
In the third, the Bulldogs gathered the early lead with a 7-0 run to lead 11-5. Dean would go on to control the set, hitting .207 from the floor in the third, winning the set, 25-16.
In the final set, the Nighthawks came out booming to a 10-3 advantage. The Bulldogs would chip away and seemingly swing the momentum their way by taking a 23-22 lead in the late going.
Ortiz Arce would tie the set 23-23 with a kill, Bolduk got the Nighthawks to match point with a kill, and sophomore Ruby Bryant (New Haven, Conn.) finished the match with a kill, giving the Nighthawks the 25-23 set win.
The win moves the Nighthawks to 3-17 (1-8 NECC), giving Newbury their first conference win of the season. Dean drops to 12-14 (2-7 NECC) following the loss.
The Nighthawks fail to advance to the Postseason in 2018 while the Bulldogs will await their fate with a series of tiebreakers to make the playoffs. The 2-7 conference record is tied with Lesley and Mitchell. Dean, Lesley, and Mitchell are fighting for two spots in the Postseason in the tiebreaker.