Volleyball: Cadets defeat Curry, Coach Nuckols earns 100th career coaching victory

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich head coach Ashlynn Nuckols earned her 100th career coaching victory on Friday as a total team effort and highly efficient offense propelled the Cadets to a convincing 3-0 win over Curry (25-15, 25-12, 25-12) at Andrews Hall.

The Cadets racked up a .359 hitting percentage as a team, securing 39 kills to only 11 errors, scored 11 service aces and picked up three blocks. The milestone victory comes in Coach Nuckols’ 12th season on the sidelines. The 2009 Davis & Elkins alumna is only the second head coach in program history.

Senior outside hitter Ana Lopez (Laredo, Texas) led the way for Norwich with a fantastic offensive day, collecting new career highs with 14 kills and a .722 attack percentage. Senior outside hitter Maggie McNeil (Gilford, NH) and sophomore Abby Kanaga (Apopka, Fla.) secured seven kills apiece while senior setter Sarah Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) scored 29 assists alongside two aces.

McNeil would add a team-high seven digs on the night. Junior Sam Lebruska (Lynnfield, Mass.) led the team with four aces, middle hitter graduate student Addison Schroeder (Apple Valley, Calif.) tacked on five kills, and senior defensive specialist Julia Dorr (Clifton Park, NY) secured five digs and an ace.

The first set saw the two teams tied 9-9 before Norwich scored five unanswered points to swing momentum. With Sarah Farnum holding serve, the Cadets took a 14-10 lead and ultimately picked up a 25-15 first set victory. In the second, the Cadets used a three-point run on a Sarah Farnum serve followed by a four-point swing on McNeil’s serve and built a 6-3 lead for the Cadets, a strong lead that Norwich was able to bloom into a 17-10 advantage with McNeil back on the serve.

McNeil quickly put the set away with a strong, eight-point run that put the Cadets up, 23-11, and helped propelled Norwich to a 25-12 victory in set two. Junior defensive specialist/libero Laura Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) led a four-point run that spotted Norwich a 6-3 lead in the third, followed by a four-point swing by Dorr that put the Cadets up, 10-5. Junior middle blocker Leah Mathewson (North Chelmsford, Mass.) turned a 13-6 advantage later in the set to an 18-6 lead before scoring the final point of the game on a kill set up on a pass from Lopez.

Norwich will return to Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action on Saturday, Sept. 24 against Elms in Chicopee, Mass. The Cadets won the last matchup between the two teams on Oct. 20, 2021 with a 3-2 victory over the Blazers, an effort led by 29 kills from Kathryn Farnum ’22 (North Andover, Mass.)sister of Laura and Sarah Farnum. First serve on Sept. 24 ice seen before 12 pm

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