FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Second-seeded Framingham State University posted a 3-0 victory (25-20, 25-19, 25-18) over #3 Bridgewater State University in the semifinal round of the 2019 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Volleyball Tournament on Thursday night at the Athletic Center.
With the win, Framingham State advances to the MASCAC title match for the seventh time in the last eight years. The Rams (18-11) will travel to Westfield State University on Saturday to take on the top-seeded Owls at five. Westfield blanked #4 MCLA in the other semifinal matchup, 3-0. Bridgewater State ends the 2019 season with an overall record of 11-15.
Sophomore outside hitter Brandee Thomas (North Kingstown, R.I.) led the way for Framingham State with a match-best 13 kills as well as 14 digs, an ace and two blocks (one solo). Junior setter Morgan Failla (Providence, R.I.) dished out a match-high 28 assists to go along with ten digs, two kills and two aces, while sophomore outside hitter Payton Hodson (Somersworth, N.H.) added 11 kills, and sophomore libero Alyssa Cafarelli (Peoria, Ariz.) contributed a match-best 18 digs.
Junior middle hitter Sydney Rice (Medway, Mass.) paced the visiting Bears with seven kills and seven blocks (two solo). Junior setter Casey Holmes (Norton, Mass.) checked in with 22 assists, 11 digs, an ace and a kill, while junior outside hitter Gabryella Serrano (Bridgewater, Mass.) notched seven kills, 11 digs and an assisted block, and freshman libero Victoria Caiano (New Bedford, Mass.) added 14 digs, two assists and a pair of aces.
Framingham was in control of the opening set as the Rams held a 20-10 lead. The Bears, however, put together a 9-3 run highlighted by two kills from Serrano and one each for Holmes and Rice. The comeback bid would fall short, however, as a BSU attacking and a Hodson kill secured the 25-20 win.
In the second set, the Bears took advantage of six Framingham attacking errors to jump out to a 7-2 advantage . Bridgewater maintained the lead until a Thomas ace knotted the score at 14-14. The Bears quickly reclaimed the lead as three Ram errors and an ace by Caiano put the visitors up 18-14. The Rams, however, closed out the set with an 11-1 run highlighted by five kills from Hodson.
Framingham jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed in the third and final set. The Bears closed to within one on two occasions (7-6 and 9-8), but the Rams pushed the lead to 17-10 before completing the sweep with a 25-18 win. Thomas recorded six kills in the set, while Hodson added four.