PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Saint Joseph's College (10-17, 5-7 GNAC) closed out the regular season with a win over Suffolk University (11-16, 7-5 GNAC) and a loss to #2 Johnson & Wales University (28-1, 12-0 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's volleyball tri-match on Saturday afternoon.
With the win over Suffolk, the Monks have secured the #8 seed in the GNAC Tournament and will return to Providence on Tuesday to face the nationally-ranked Wildcats in a quarterfinal at 7:30 PM.
SAINT JOSEPH'S 3, SUFFOLK 1 (27-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-20)
The Monks opened up a 6-1 lead with kills from Erin Olson (Stoughton, Mass.) and Kelsey Bickford (Somersworth, N.H.) and the help of four Ram attack errors. Midway through the opening set Suffolk cut the deficit down to 14-13 and later rattled off a 5-1 run to collect their first lead, 25-24, of the afternoon.
Following a timeout, the Monks responded with three unanswered points, including a pair of kills from Olivia Kent (Ellington, Conn.), to claim a 1-0 lead.
Trailing 8-6 early in the second frame, St. Joe's shot ahead with an 8-1 run to collect a 16-7 advantage. A Sophia Randall (Epping, N.H.) ace lifted the Monks to a 20-10 lead several minutes later and Saint Joseph's proceeded to lead by at least eight points en route to securing a 25-15 set win and 2-0 match advantage.
Neither team held a lead greater than three points until the Monks produced four unanswered points to claim a 16-10 lead midway through the third period. The Rams responded with an 8-2 run to tie the match at 18-18 and the conference counterparts traded the lead several times before Suffolk took the lead for good with a 3-0 run to collect a 27-25 set victory.
After dropping the third set, the Monks seemed determined to not force a fifth frame and opened with an 8-2 run, which was capped with a Bickford kill. Saint Joseph's maintained the lead for the entire set and held off a late Suffolk rally with the help of an Olson kill and a Ram attack error to win the match with a 25-20 triumph.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Bickford produced 10 kills and eight digs with a pair of aces
- Olson added 10 kills and four digs
- Randall tallied 21 assists and 10 digs
- Senior Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) contributed three kills, 11 assists, and 12 digs
- Senior Jennelle Thompson (Rochester, N.H.) recorded 19 digs, five assists, and three aces
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
- Chidera Nwankwo notched 11 kills with a .259 attack rate and six total blocks
- Hannah Fabiano delivered 10 kills
- Kayla Barbera added nine kills and 10 digs
- Talia Lombardo chipped in with 39 assists and seven digs
- Dakhensey Marcellus contributed 23 digs
JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY 3, SAINT JOSEPH'S 0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-10)
The Monks opened with a 9-6 lead, but the advantage was quickly overturned as the Wildcats rattled off 10 unanswered points as part of a 19-2 run to close out the set with a 25-11 victory.
The second set followed a similar pattern as the GNAC foes remained close in score until Johnson & Wales posted a 16-4 surge to collect a 25-12 lead and 2-0 match cushion.
The Wildcats posted an otherworldly .529 attack percentage with 10 kills and one error in 17 attempts en route to posting a 25-10 win and 3-0 match victory.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Olson delivered four kills
- Thompson totaled 13 digs
- Randall added two kills, four assists, and a pair of aces
LEADERS – JOHNSON & WALES:
- Kate Walker notched 13 kills with zero errors on 18 attempts for an incredible .722 attack percentage
- Maria Coniglio added eight kills and six digs
- Brylee Frank contributed 35 assists