STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (6-16, 2-5 GNAC) split a non-conference tri-match with Maine-Presque Isle (1-18) and Maine-Fort Kent (19-5) at the Harold Alfond Center on Monday. The Monks opened with a 3-0 (25-9,25-12,25-12) and closed the day with a 3-2 (22-25, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 6-15) setback at the hands of the Bengals.
Fort Kent breezed past Presque Isle, 3-0 (25-8,25-11,25-11), in the sandwich match at the Alfond Center.
In the opener, Saint Joseph's employed a potent service attack en route to a shutout victory over Presque Isle, as the Monks totaled a season high 20 aces versus the Owls. Juniors Abbie McPhee (Epping, N.H.) and Cassie Leech (Middleborough, Mass.) led the effort with five aces apiece while juniors Felicia Wachowiak (Milton, N.H.) and Alli Hollander (Thermal, Calif.) belted four and three aces, respectively, in the one-sided match.
Wachowiak paced an efficient attack performance with six kills and tallied six block solos, Leech added four kills, and McPhee contributed six assists and seven digs in the opening match.
Abby Jewett and Shannon Brown registered three kills apiece in a losing effort for the Owls.
Maine-Fort Kent, which is ranked 12th in the latest United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national poll, proved to be a tough matchup for the Monks, as the Bengals featured a formidable duo on the frontline in Hope Grace (Fairfield, Calif.) and Danielle Carrillo (Mendota, Calif.), a pair that produced 37 kills versus the hosts.
The first four sets were hotly contested, with the Bengals taking the first two by a combined seven points and the Monks winning the latter pair by five total points. Unfortunately, the hosts would ultimately run out of gas in the deciding set, as Fort Kent notched five kills in eight attempts while Saint Joseph's managed just three kills in 13 bids in falling by a 15-6 margin.
With the hard fought loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 0-6 in five-set matches this season.
The Monks put forth another solid service performance with 17 aces, as McPhee tied a career high with six and Wachowiak blasted five in a losing effort. Wachowiak tied a season high with 16 kills and added five block solos in the setback while sophomore Shadai Gosselin (Somersworth, N.H.) recorded seven kills and 23 digs for the hosts.
Freshman setter Taylor Penman (Montville, Conn.), who made her NCAA debut versus the Owls earlier in the day, registered 19 assists with three kills and four digs, first-year Samantha Robinson (Gorham, Maine) tallied a team-high 25 digs and Hollander chipped in with 22 digs and three kills in the loss.
Wachowiak surpassed the 800-kill and 300 total block career marks in the split. She currently ranks second in team history in kills (818) and is the program's all-time leader in block solos (188) and total blocks (303).
For the Bengals, Grace put forth an impressive double double with 23 kills and 21 digs while Carrillo followed suit with 14 kills and 24 digs along with eight aces for the visitors. Jessekah McCorkle (Bayliss, Calif.) recorded 41 assists and 17 digs and Jessany Munoz (Yreka, Calif.) added 33 digs in the victory.
With today's results, Saint Joseph's improves to 13-4 versus Maine-Presque Isle and falls to 7-1 against Maine-Fort Kent, a team the Monks faced for the first time since 2007 this afternoon. (All-time results reflect matches played beginning with the 1989 season.)
Saint Joseph's returns to the court with a non-conference match at University of New England on Thursday at 6:30 PM.
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.