Paxton Thornton registers 18 kills and Western Conneticut
volleyball sweeps Red Hawks, 3-0

from the desk of Michael Scala - MSU Sports Information


UPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ (Oct. 11) — Senior outside hitter Paxton Thornton (Sharon, CT / Housatonic Valley) collected 18 kills and added eight digs and three blocks as Western Connecticut swept past Montclair State 3-0 in NCAA Volleyball action at the Panzer Athletic Center on Thursday evening.

Sophomore setter Jennifer Hogan (Franklin Square, NY / Holy Trinity) had 37 assists, 10 digs and four kills for the Colonials, who won their third straight improving to 13-10 on the season.

Junior outside hitter Marta Topor (Bogota, NJ / Bogota) had eight kills to lead Montclair State which had its two-match winning streak halted. The Red Hawks fell to 20-9 on the season.

After trading the first 12 points of the opening set, Montclair State built a 10-6 lead taking advantage of a service error and three attack miscues by the Colonials. MSU would later lead 14-11 before Thornton put down a kill to spark six-point run by WestConn as it jumped in front 17-14. Thornton would serve an ace for a 20-15 lead and three straight kills by Nina Wojtkiewicz (Griswold, CT / Griswold) made the score 23-17. Topor countered with two kill brining MSU within 23-19 but Wojtkiewicz had two more kills before a block by Caitlin Van Camp (Reading, CT / Joel Barlow) and Melanie Lombardi (Danbury, CT / Danbury) ended the set as Western Connecticut grabbed a 1-0 lead with a 25-21 victory.

Libero Shirley Rodriguez (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico / North Haven) served eight straight points in a 10-2 opening run by the Colonials in the second set. Montclair State would get as close as 17-11 on a Topor kill however Rachel Volpe (Southington, CT / Southington) served up five consecutive points as WestConn widened its lead to 23-11. Montclair State would manage to hold off two set points however Heather Williams (Kingston, NY / Kingston) recorded a kill for the final point in a 25-14 win, and a 2-0 Colonials lead in the match.

Volpe continued her solid serving with four points to being the third set. Back-to-back kills from Thornton pushed the lead to 7-2 before the Red Hawks closed the gap to 11-7. The Colonials responded with a six-point run, all served by Wojtkiewicz who got the final kill in the run for a 17-7 Western Connecticut advantage. Trailing 20-9 Montclair State mounted a mini-run with five points as Megan Cockcroft (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) had three kills in the spurt.  Lombardi ended the run with a kill and the Colonials eventually closed out the set and the match with a 25-17 triumph.

Wojtkiewicz had nine kills and 11 digs while Williams and Lombardi posted five kills each for the Colonials, who hit .241 for the match. Rodriguez led all players with 15 digs.

Nicole Wojtowicz (Mahwah, NJ / Mahwah) had six kills for Montclair State which got five kills from Dana McNish (Hawthorne, NJ / Hawthorne).  Setter Angela Campo (Washington Township, NJ / Westwood) recorded 17 assists with libero Kaitlyn Irwin (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) getting 13 digs. Kim Butrico (Cresskill, NJ / Cresskill) added nine digs for the Red Hawks.

Montclair State is now off until Tuesday, October 16 as they host Rowan University in an NJAC matchup at 7:00 pm. Western Connecticut is at Bridgewater State College on Saturday, October 13 for a Noon tri-match with the Bears and Wheaton College (MA).