Bridgeport, Conn.-The University of Bridgeport women's volleyball team opened its 2018 season in fine style on Thursday afternoon in Hubbell Gym by posting a four-set, 25-18, 25-23, 13-25, 25-22, win of the Owls of Southern Connecticut State University, who earned a spot in last year's NCAA Division II Championship Tournament field.
After never trailing in the opening set of action, the host Purple Knights won five of the last six points to grab a see-saw second set, 25-23. The visiting Owls would not go quietly posting a convincing win in set three before UB wrapped things up with a 25-22 triumph in the fourth set.
Junior Emily Burford (Albuquerque, N.M.) led a balanced Bridgeport offense attack on the afternoon with 13 kills. Classmates Galia Nankin (Ra'anana, Israel) and Makayla Maroney (Parker, Colo.) each added eight kills for the winners.
Freshman Amanda Keller (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) made an impressive debut in a Bridgeport uniform recording eight blocks (two solos) and four kills.
Senior setter Ellie Rich (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) opened her final season in the Park City with a double-double leading the team in assists with 34 and tying for team-high honors in digs with sophomore Klein Johnson (San Antonio, Texas), each with 13.
Freshman Breanna Jones (Littleton, Colo.) was also impressive in her first action for the Purple Knights registering 10 digs and four kills.
The UB volleyball returns to action next Friday, August 31 when they travel to the Barry University Invitational in Florida where they will face Saginaw Valley State University in an 11:00 a.m. match. While in the Sunshine State, the Purple Knights will also play a rematch with Southern Connecticut, Texas A&M Kingsville and the host Barry University Buccaneers.