STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (3-3) finished as the runner-up in the 15th Annual SJC Autumn Invitational with a 3-0 loss to Bates College (4-0) in the title match at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday. The Monks opened the second and final day of the tourney with a 3-0 triumph over Husson University (3-5).
Bates and Saint Joseph's have met in the annual invitational championship in each of the last three seasons with the Bobcats capturing the crown on two occasions. The Monks defeated the Bobcats, 3-1, in the 2013 SJC Autumn Invitational, but failed to defend the title this fall.
The Bobcats opened this year's tournament with a 25-23 loss to the Monks but proceeded to win 12 consecutive sets en route to capturing the invitational title for the second time in three years.
Bates sophomore middle blocker Chandler McGrath (Seal Beach, Calif.) was chosen as the tournament's Most Valuable Player after posting 17 kills, 11 service aces and 22 digs while juniors Mary Deneen (Windsor, Conn.) Brynn Wendel (Boxford, Mass.) claimed All-Tournament honors for the Bobcats. Deneen, who notched a tournament-best .356 hitting percentage, tallied 19 kills with five aces and eight digs and Wendel contributed 20 kills and eight digs in four tourney matches.
Junior Felicia Wachowiak (Milton, N.H.), who led all invitational participants in kills (35) and was second in blocks (6), and sophomore Victoria Huntley (Ellsworth, Maine), who boasted 23 kills with 14 aces and 31 digs, collected All-Tournament honors for Saint Joseph's.
Freshman Bailey Cote (Biddeford, Maine) of Husson and sophomore Gwyneth Stahl (Whitinsville, Mass.) of Lyndon State College were also listed on the All-Tournament Team. Cote led the Eagles with 18 kills and a .157 hitting percentage while Stahl paced the Hornets with 23 assists and 31 digs during tourney play.
TOURNAMENT STATISTICS: http://gomonks.com/sports/wvball/2014-15/files/tourldrs.htm
Saint Joseph's def. Husson, 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 25-13)
The Monks played perhaps their best overall match in Saturday's opener, as the Royal Blue recorded a .312 hitting rate with 27 kills and just seven errors with 16 aces to go with 27 assists and 41 digs as a team in a convincing victory.
Wachowiak led the way with 10 kills and a .316 attack percentage while sophomore Shadai Gosselin (Somersworth, N.H.) netted eight kills, four aces and six digs and junior Alli Hollander (Thermal, Calif.) contributed three kills, 22 assists and seven digs against the Eagles. Huntley belted a career-high seven aces to go with five kills and seven digs and junior Abbie McPhee (Epping, N.H.) chipped in with 13 digs and a pair of aces in the triumph.
For Husson, freshman Nia Arranaga (San Jose, Calif.) notched four kills with three aces and five digs while freshman Kayla Hannon (Salem, N.H.) dealt 11 assists and freshman Sarah Wilson (Dover, N.H.) chimed in with 11 digs in a losing effort.
Bates def. Lyndon State, 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-19)
The Bobcats were not dominant on the attack, posting a pedestrian .081 hitting percentage against the Hornets, but managed to pull off a sweep with the help of 21 service aces, including nine from junior Nicole Cueli (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), and a lackluster -.064 rate by Lyndon State.
For Bates, junior Abby Leberman (Concord, N.H.) and sophomore Gabby O'Leary (Wynnewood, Pa.) tallied five kills apiece while Cueli and freshman Augy Silver (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) both contributed 11 digs in the shutout triumph.
For Lyndon State (2-3), sophomore Abbey Greene (Exeter, R.I.) accumulated six kills with seven digs, junior Liz Mainville (North Smithfield, R.I.) added three aces and five digs and Kelleigh Murtagh (Merrimack, N.H.) chipped in with a team-high nine digs in the loss.
Championship: Bates def. Saint Joseph's, 3-0 (29-27, 25-12, 25-13)
The championship match began with one of the longest sets to be held at the Alfond Center in recent memory, as the Bobcats eventually prevailed by a 29-27 score to take a 1-0 lead. Trailing 21-19 late, the Monks rattled off five straight points – including a pair of Wachowiak kills - to secure a three-point advantage. Bates rallied to knot the set at 24-apiece and the lead would change hands four times before the Bobcats triumphed with kills from Wendel and Deneen.
Bates raced out to a daunting 10-2 cushion in the second set, which would end in a 25-12 score after the Monks recorded as many kills (4) as errors in 30 attack attempts.
The third set was close at the midway point, as the Monks made it a 12-9 score after Hollander delivered a kill off a Jordynne Copp (Cumberland, Maine) feed. But the Bobcats went on to score five unanswered points as part of a 13-4 run to close out the final set, which was finalized on a trio of SJC attack errors.
For the Monks, Wachowiak recorded eight kills, Huntley produced six kills with seven digs, Hollander boasted 18 assists and nine digs and Gosselin contributed three kills, three aces and 11 digs in the loss. McPhee chipped in a match-high 20 digs in the finale.
For the Bobcats, McGrath tallied eight kills, three aces and seven digs, Deneen belted six kills, Leberman registered five kills, six aces and 12 digs and Hannah Tardie (Orange, Calif.) recorded 15 assists in the sweep. Laryssa Schepel (Flemington, N.J.) added a team-high 18 digs in the title match.
Consolation: Husson def. Lyndon State, 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19)
Winless in three tourney games, Husson salvaged the trip with a consolation game triumph over Lyndon State. Cote led the charge for the Eagles with 11 kills and an outstanding .647 attack percentage while Alexandra deHertogh (Cumberland, R.I.) dealt seven aces with four kills, six digs and five block solos. Wilson added 12 digs and Hannon contributed 15 assists in the Husson triumph.
For the Hornets, Greene boasted a match-best nine kills, Murtagh chipped in with five kills, four aces and six digs, Laura Drake (Hinsdale, Mass.) added six kills, nine assists, three aces and seven digs, and Stahl posted four kills, 11 assists and seven digs in the team's finale.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.