Resilient Gators Capture 3-2 Road Win

QUINCY, Mass. – Pine Manor topped Eastern Nazarene College on Thursday October 28, as the Gators came from behind to take a thrilling non-conference win 3-2 (22-25, 25-13, 18-25, 25-23, 15-12). With the win, Pine Manor's second in three days, the Gators improve to 8-15 on the season, while Eastern Nazarene drops to 3-26.

Eastern Nazarene came out strong in the first set, taking a one set to none lead thanks to a 25-22 victory. Playing in her final home match, senior Amber Burns (Fall River, MA/BMC Durfee) finished with 13 kills, 9 set assists,and 3 solo blocks while freshman Cayla Clinkscale (Wichendon, MA/Murdock Middle) had 8 kills, 3 service aces for the Lions.

Pine Manor responded in the second set, taking a 25-13 victory. Megan Patch (Bethpage, TN/Red Boiling Springs) orchestrated the Gator attack, contributing 44 set assists, while sophomore Alie Johnston (Winnipeg, Manitoba/River East Collegiate) put down 15 kills for Pine Manor. With the score knotted at a set apiece, Eastern Nazarene would gain the advantage with a 25-18 victory in the third set.

In the fourth set, Eastern Nazarene began to distance itself from Pine Manor looking to close out the Gators. With Pine Manor trailing 22-16, freshman Gloria Lara (South Boston, MA/East Boston) helped to lead the Gators back to tie the score at 22-22, thanks in part to a pair of emphatic kills by Johnston and junior Jennifer Gross (Coral Springs, FL/Coral Glades).

“We talked about how we had been to that fifth set before, how we knew that we could come back,” said head coach Mike Murphy. “We wanted to play that final set and give ourselves the opportunity to win.”

Having forced the final set, the Gators took advantage. Leading 8-7 when the teams switched sides, Pine Manor would then pull away to earn a 15-12 set victory and take the match, 3-2.

The Gators will close out the 2010 season with a Great Northeast Conference (GNAC) tri-match this Saturday in New Haven, CT. Pine Manor takes on St. Joseph College (2-25, 0-10 GNAC) at 1 pm before doing battle with host Albertus Magnus College (3-15, 0-10 GNAC) at 3 pm.

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