STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (7-3, 3-1 GNAC) split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match with Emerson College (10-3, 4-0 GNAC) and Johnson & Wales University (1-14, 0-2 GNAC) at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday.
Emerson College def. Saint Joseph's, 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 17-25, 25-13)
Trailing 2-0 after a pair of very competitive sets, the Monks temporarily staved off defeat with a 25-27 in in the third set before dropping the final by a wide 25-13 margin. Although St. Joe's fell to 0-6 in the history of the series with Emerson College with today's result, which featured 29 tie scores and 11 lead changes, fans should recognize that the Monks had never before won a set against the 2009 GNAC Champions.
Sophomore middle blocker Holly Bannister (Cumberland, Maine) set new career highs in kills (12), attacks (27) and attack percentage (.259) while Sarah Hawkes '13 (Pownal, Maine) tallied seven kills and 19 digs in the hard-fought setback. Kiah Begley '13 (Berwick, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas) registered a match-best 35 assists with five digs, four service aces and three kills and Erica Russi '14 (Debary, Fla.) contributed 22 digs, also a match-high.
For the Lions, Jessica Drumright '12 (San Francisco, Calif.) recorded nine kills, seven digs and 13 assists, Alexa Krakowiak '12 (Westport, Conn.) added eight kills, seven digs and seven solo blocks, and Kathleen Bailey '12 (Calabasas, Calif.) tallied 24 assists and eight digs.
Saint Joseph's def. Johnson & Wales, 3-2 (25-23, 25-27, 25-20, 19-25, 15-9)
Although it required five sets, the Monks avenged a season-ending loss in the 2010 conference tourney with the program's first-ever victory over Johnson & Wales, the eventual 2010 GNAC Champions. All five sets were closely contested as the match featured 21 tie scores and 14 lead changes.
Hawkes paced the Royal Blue with 13 kills, 27 digs and four solo blocks and Begley recorded 30 assists and 12 digs in the win over Johnson & Wales. Kristin Palladino '14 (Exeter, N.H.) added six kills – including the match-winner – and 14 digs, Russi contributed 20 digs and a career-high six aces, Bannister put up six kills, and Jordan Pelczar '12 (Meredith, N.H.) posted 18 digs in the conference triumph.
For the Wildcats, Audrey Warren '12 (Haverhill, Mass.) belted a team-high 13 kills, Karlie Haack '13 (Selkirk, N.Y.) registered nine kills, 24 digs, four aces and a pair of solo blocks, and Courtney Wright '14 (Windham, N.H.) collected a match-best 33 digs in a losing effort.
With the win, St. Joe's improves to 1-6 in the history of the series with Johnson & Wales.
Saint Joseph's will play at University of Maine-Farmington on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.