The University of Rhode Island Volleyball team climbed their way back to .500 after back-to-back sweeps over Atlantic 10 foes Duquesne and La Salle on their home court over the weekend.
The Rams (7-7, 2-0) tallied a whopping 46 kills in their straight-set victory over Duquesne, with seniors Layne Self and Audrey Castro leading the way with 11 kills each. It was a one-sided offensive onslaught complemented by a defensive effort that held their opponents in check with 18 total kills.
URI looked to build on their opening conference win with another straightforward and dominant performance against the visiting La Salle. They got off the court in just over an hour after dismantling their competition 25-18, 25-15 and 25-13 for their third consecutive victory. Castro again reached double figures in kills with 12 while Self’s six earned her 850 for her career. The senior was also named A-10 Defensive player of the week, as she again led a formidable defensive front that limited the explorers to only 21 kills.
URI will attempt to continue their recent tear with a road weekend series at George Mason and George Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Men’s ice hockey
URI’s hockey squad began their season on a high note with a season-opening sweep at Towson University, first winning 4-2 and then winning again in an overtime thriller by a score of 4-3. Both teams played scrappy, accumulating a combined 10 penalties in just the first period. The Rams got on the board first with a goal by William Schlichtig, which was followed by another score almost 30 seconds later courtesy of Christopher Meyer. Nick Centauro assisted on both goals.
Towson chipped at the lead with a goal of their own, but URI’s Jonathon Alsfeld widened the gap back to two goals after getting the assist by Michael Pesola and captain Ray Boudiette. It was a significant milestone for Boudiette, as it was his 100th career point as a Ram.
Towson opened the door for a comeback with a goal in the third period, but sophomore Ian Turner closed it shut with a goal coming with 11 minutes left on the clock to extend the lead to an eventual final score of 4-2. Goalie Caleb Neal was clutch with 18 saves in the URI victory.
The Tigers pushed the Rams to the brink again on Saturday afternoon, but URI’s offense remained ignited. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead that they held near the end of the second period before a Towson goal made it another competitive contest going into the final period. URI’s Nate Bastian extended the lead to two goals like the team had done all weekend, but Towson, facing a certain loss with a little over two minutes left to play, made their move. They pulled their goalie as expected, and capitalized quickly scoring two goals in 20 seconds. Overtime was necessary with both teams tied 3-3.
Boudiette capped off a memorable opening weekend in the final chapter of his URI career with the game-winning goal. The team will hope to ride the wave of momentum that their captain kept alive with a road series against the goal standard of the ESCHL, No. 3 Stony Brook, this weekend in Hauppauge, N.Y.
The women’s soccer Rams logged their first decision in a week and a half following a power outage against Creighton on Sept. 15, and defeated Wagner College, 2-0 on the road this past Friday.
Both teams contested a scoreless first half, but URI came out as the more aggressive offensive team in the second half. They gave themselves plenty of scoring opportunities with 21 shots, eight of them on goal, while Wagner proved more accurate with their chances, as 6 of their 11 shots were on the mark.
The Rams (3-3-2) played the odds with their consistent attack and it paid off in the second half with a goal by sophomore Emily Wakeford in the 53rd minute. Junior Taylor Ross headed one in the 69th minute for an insurance goal. Senior goalkeeper Katie Nickles had six saves and turned in her third clean sheet of the season.
The Rams begin conference play tomorrow against Fordham at the URI Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. before a Sunday road meeting with Saint Louis.