Sept. 22, 2006
Providence, RI - Two different Brown volleyball teams showed up for the first night of the Brown Invitational on Friday night. After falling into a 2-0 hole, 30-20 and 30-25, the Bears (2-7) nearly came back to beat Fordham (12-5) before falling in the decisive fifth game in a 3-2 loss.
Brown was barely able to keep its attack percentage positive in the first two games, hitting .064 combined in those frames while Fordham unleashed a combined .329 percentage. Despite the poor finishing, Bruno nearly came back, as three straight service aces by senior co-captain Shawn-Elyse Tulac (Claremont, CA) brought the score to 20-22. The two teams then traded a series of errors and some rare kills to end the game.
The Bears turned things around in the third, hitting a .294 average while holding the Rams to just .049 to win 30-24, then won a hard-fought fourth game, 30-27 to force a fifth.
In that fifth game, the Bears held a 9-8 lead when a kill gave Fordham the serve. At that point, Rams junior Bailey McKay came off the bench to serve, her first playing time of the game. She nearly served out the game, as three kills by Jolanda Gunning-Snowden and a pair of Brown errors gave Fordham game point. Bruno got the serve back, but Fordham put the game away on the first Brown serve to take the game 15-10.
Leading Bears with 18 kills was Tulac, followed by junior Julie Mandolini-Trummel (Crystal Lake, IL), who had 15 kills and a .400 attack percentage. Both were all over the court -- Tulac also had eight digs and four service aces, while Mandolini-Trummel had six blocks. Defensively, junior libero Katie Lapinski (Niles, IL) returned to the Brown lineup and had 18 digs to lead the team. Senior Victoria Kasten (Norwalk, OH) and junior Rachel Lipman (San Diego, CA) added 11 digs apiece, while senior co-captain Jessica Kondrick (San Diego, CA) and freshman Ann Cowell (Santa Barbara, CA) had four and three blocks, respectively. Sophomore setter Natalie Meyers (Huntington, CA) had a game-high 44 assists.
Saturday, the Bears will play games against North Dakota State (8-6) and Delaware State (0-11). In earlier action at the Pizzitola Center, the Bison cruised to victory over the Hornets, 30-13, 30-17, 30-16.