BOSTON, MA – Saint Joseph's (11-4, 4-2 GNAC) split a conference tri-match at Simmons College on Saturday. The Monks suffered a 3-0 loss to the host Sharks (13-4, 6-0 GNAC) before earning a 3-2 victory over Lasell College (7-10, 1-3 GNAC) to close out the day.
Simmons def. Saint Joseph's, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23)
The Monks suffered their second three-set loss of the season against the host-Sharks, which closed the day with a 3-0 win over Lasell to remain as one of two teams (Emerson is the other) to have not dropped a match in conference play. St. Joe's battled with a solid .154 attack percentage and 52 digs, but Simmons countered with a.256 hitting rate, the highest mark posted by an SJC opponent this season, en route to the three-nil win.
Sarah Hawkes '13 (Pownal, Maine) tallied 11 kills, nine digs, three total blocks and a stellar .381 hitting percentage and Kiah Begley '13 (Berwick, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas) added 24 assists and 11 digs in a losing effort. Kristin Palladino '14 (Exeter, N.H.) recorded six kills and eight digs, Emilee Penman '15 (Uncasville, Conn.) chipped in with six kills and a .364 attack rate, and Erica Russi '14 (Debary, Fla.) collected 13 digs for the visitors.
With her fourth kill of the match Hawkes became the Monks' all-time leader in the sport's most acclaimed category. The junior surpassed Hillary Collyer '04, who tallied 673 kills in 57 matches (279 sets) over four seasons, and now stands alone as the best offensive player in program history.
Junior Kelly Last (West Haven, Conn.) fed the Sharks' offense with seven kills while Rossi Fish (Attleboro, Mass.) hit .417 percent with six kills on 12 attempts. Down by six in the third game, the Sharks defense took charge, with sophomore Sandy Lor (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Last combining for 29 digs. Rachel Dufault (Westport, Mass.) added 27 assists to come back and secure the win.
Saint Joseph's def. Lasell College, 3-2 (26-24, 21-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-8)
The second match of the day proved to be one of the best of the season as the Monks and Lasers dueled for five matches with St. Joe's coming out on top in the end. Saint Joseph's set a program record with 61 kills and notched season-high 52 assists in the victory.
Hawkes closed out her historic day with one of the finest performances of her career as the junior middle blocker tied a career-high with 22 kills and added 23 digs with a .442 attack percentage to help the Royal Blue avoid a GNAC tri-match sweep.
For the Monks, Russi produced a team and career high 33 digs, Begley dealt 44 assists – one shy of tying her program single-match mark, Penman added 12 kills, Brooke Dyer '14 (Lebanon, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas) contributed 10 kills and nine digs, and Palladino posted seven kills and a career-best 16 digs versus the Lasers.
Hawkes completed the day with 703 kills and 709 digs in two-plus seasons and is the only player in team history to amass at least 700 in both statistical categories. With 10 digs she will become the Monks' all-time leader as she will surpass Helene Liaci '05, who notched 718 digs in 87 matches (380 sets) over four years. Hawkes is also just four solo stuffs away from passing Collyer as the SJC career leader in blocks.
Saint Joseph's will host University of Southern Maine (0-10, 0-2 LEC) on Thursday at 7:00 PM.