FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Bucknell volleyball jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then hung on for a 3-2 win over Brown on Saturday at Sacred Heart’s Hampton Inn Shelton Invitational. Sophomore Hailey Stout paced yet another balanced attack from the Bison with 15 kills on a .326 hitting percentage, while adding two aces and 13 digs.
Bucknell improved to 3-1 for the second time in three seasons, defeating Brown by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 20-25, 14-25, 15-9. The Bears, who swept Hartford earlier in the day, dropped to 1-1. The win was the first over Brown in program history for the Bison, The only other time the two teams met was in 1993.
The match went five sets, but the turning point was much earlier than that. Bucknell trailed 23-20 in the first set before scoring the final five points to take a 1-0 lead. Freshman Stephanie Occhiogrosso stepped up big with three kills on the Bison’s final four points. They had a strong finish in the second set, too, scoring seven of the final nine points.
Brown reversed the tables by breaking a 20-20 tie with the final five points in the third set, before tying the match with an easy win in the fourth. But Bucknell left little doubt in the final set as Occhiogrosso’s 10th kills of the match clinched the win.
Senior Karen Campbell had 14 kills and freshman Blake Buchholz tallied 10 as the pair joined Stout and Occhiogrosso to give the Bison four players in double-digits. Campbell also had six total blocks, including two solo. The Bison finished with 11 blocks as a team.
Senior Meghan Wentzel recorded 48 of Bucknell’s 56 assists. It was her most assists since she tallied 49 in a four-set win over Holy Cross on Sept. 20 of last season. Buchholz and sophomore Hana Sawanobori paced the team with 22 and 19 digs, respectively, while Stout and freshman Jenna Slusar combined for four of the team’s seven aces.
Emily Miller was the top performer for Brown, finishing with 15 kills and a .414 hitting percentage. Emma Thygesen had 12 kills, and Sabrina Stillwell added 11.
Bucknell concludes play at Sacred Heart with a match against Hartford at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Hawks dropped to 0-5 with their loss to Brown.