WESTFIELD, Mass. – Senior hitter Brianna Starkey pounded 12 kills to lead Westfield State, as the top-seeded Owls steamrolled No. 4 MCLA 25-14, 25-13, 25-14 in the semifinals of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball semifinals at the Woodward Center on Thursday night.
With the win, the Owls will host Saturday’s championship match at 5:00 p.m.
The Owls seized control from the opening point, sprinting out of the blocks to a 10-3 lead in the first game on a Starkey kill.
The Blazers offered more resistance in the second game. After Westfield jumped to a 5-1 lead behind three kills from the Crowley sisters, MCLA answered with seven straight points of their own being a pair of kills apiece for Kelly Moczulski and Regan Scattergood.
Westfield tied the set at 10-10 on a Starkey kill, and used a 10-0 run in the middle of the set to build a decisive 18-10 lead.
In the third set, the teams were tied 4-4 early, but the Owls gradually pulled away with a balanced team effort, capping the match with a service ace from senior Lizzie Taylor.
Sophomore Shawna Crowley added nine kills for the Owls, wih sister Ashley Crowley and Hanna Simpkins each adding six kills.
Senior setter Ally Rega finished with 29 assists and seven digs, while senior libero Taylor led the Owls with 22 digs.
Westfield hit .233 for the match with 41 kills, while MCLA hit .000 leveling 21 kills with 21 attack errors.
Westfield is now 13-16 overall on the season, but the Owls ran the table against the MASCAC with a 7-0 record in league play in the regular season.
Freshman Moczulski led MCLA with eight kills, while Scattergood added seven. Houa Xiong led the back row with 14 digs. The Trailblazers season ends with a 19-11 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the MASCAC.
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