Sports, Fall, Volleyball

Naughton Propels BC Over Northeastern, Eagles Stay Perfect

At this time last year, Boston College volleyball had not even begun its season. And when the Eagles did finally take the court, they dropped their first seven games, all to ACC opponents. The first breath of reprieve came for the Eagles on Feb. 13, 2021, when BC earned a win over Northeastern to open the second half of a split-down-the-middle season.

This year, the season could not look more different. A freshmen-heavy 2020 roster became a tried-and-true group, and a losing start gave way to a winning one.

Just days after sweeping the Bryant Invitational, BC (7–0) rode its momentum down the green line to take on Northeastern (2–5) on Tuesday night. The Eagles didn’t waste any time, winning the first two sets before taking the match 3–1 to defeat the Huskies for the second time this season. 

Captain Clare Naughton set the tone early with a monster opening set en route to a 25–19 Eagles win, finishing with eight kills and hitting .635 in the first frame.

The Eagles followed a dominant first set up with an early 9–0 run to go up 12–3 in set two, thanks to three assists from freshman Jane Petrie and some forced attack errors against the Huskies. BC didn’t let its early run go to waste, as Amaka Chukwujekwu closed off set two with a monster slam off of another Petrie setup.  

Northeastern was determined to avoid the sweep, however, winning set three 25–15 and  grabbing the momentum heading into the fourth frame. Northeastern outshot the Eagles .471 to .167 in the third, the only period in which they trailed in hitting percentage.

The lead never grew to more than three for either team in the back-and-forth fourth set. 

Undefeated BC, though, isn’t used to losing, and the Eagles edged out a 26–24 win to secure the match. 

Naughton and Chukwujekwu led the Eagles’ front row. Naughton led all players with 20 kills and added 14 digs. Her game-high 20 kills was also a career high in her double-double performance. Chukwujekwu continued her stellar play, adding 12 kills and four blocks while hitting .500 for the game.

Sophomore setter Sophia Lambros led the Eagle attack with 24 assists, while Petrie added 18 assists and seven digs. Junior Gabby McCaa totaled a team-high six blocks, and sophomore libero Anna Murphy contributed a match-leading 21 digs.

During BC’s weekend series at the Bryant Invitational in Rhode Island, the Eagles bested all three of their opponents in four sets or fewer, and that fact didn’t change against Northeastern. The only game to go to a fifth set this season was the first time the Huskies and the Eagles met on Aug. 28, which BC won three games to two. 

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

September 8, 2021