BOSTON - Raiders sophomore Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) finished the five-set contest with a match-high 15 kills, leading Rivier University to a 3-2 (14-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-23, 15-13) over the Emerson College Lions on Tuesday night at Brown & Plofker Gym in non-conference play.
Raiders freshman Jillian Rabasco (Nashua, N.H.) was a kill behind Dunster, finishing with 14. Senior Bethany Trevino (Westminster, Colo.) finished with a match-best 29 digs while junior Hayley Macken (Clifton Park, N.Y.) nearly completed the rare triple-double, amassing eight kills, 21 digs, and 39 assists.
Lions freshman Albany Alexander (Orlando, Fla.) and junior Fara Cohen (Morristown, N.J.) both finished the match with 12 kills. Cohen added a team-high 18 digs. Junior Kelley Guerra (Randolph, N.J.) finished with 10 kills while classmate Moira Brennan (Glenview, Ill.) added a match-best 43 assists.
The opening set was all Lions as a 12-0 run gave Emerson a quick 13-3 lead. A separate 6-1 run extended the lead before a Raiders error closed the first set at 25-14 Lions.
The second set was also in the Lions control early as they got ahead by as many as six, 15-9. The scoring run belonged to Rivier this time, one of 11-2, putting the Raiders in front 20-17. The Lions recovered to within two, but the Raiders shut the door, scoring the final four points, capped by a kill by freshman Julia Zargaj (Groveland, Mass.) for the 25-19 second set win.
In the third, Rivier controlled the action from the start, taking a seven-point lead, 15-7, halfway through the set. The Lions pulled within three on a mini 4-0 run, but the Raiders we able to respond with four straight of their own. The final three points of the third went to Rivier thanks in part to a pair of service aces from Rabasco, giving the Raiders the 25-17 set win.
The fourth was a battle for control as neither team was able to string together a significant run to take the lead. The largest lead of the set was only four (6-2) and after the teams were tied at 13-13, neither led by more than three. Rivier was able to use back-to-back points to lead 22-20, but the Lions fought to win five of the final six points, taking the fourth set 25-23.
The final set was similar to the fourth with no team being able to gain control early on. With the score 11-10 Lions, the Raiders would use three kills in four points to set up match point, 14-11. The Lions defended match-point twice to trail 14-13, but the Raiders would get a kill from Dunster to win the final set, 15-13. Rivier finished the fifth set with 12 kills on 15 points.
The victory lifts the Raiders to 15-8 while the loss drops the Lions to 10-12.
Next up for Emerson is a tri-match Saturday as they host UMaine-Presque Isle and Salem State with action starting at 11:00 a.m. The 3:00 p.m. match against Salem State will be the annual Dig Pink Game. For the Raiders, they head for GNAC play, on the road, against Anna Maria on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.