GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine women's volleyball team overcame a sluggish start to defeat Saint Joseph's College 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-21) in a non-conference match Thursday evening at the Warren Hill Gymnasium.
The win was the fourth straight for the Huskies, and their 11th in the last 12 matches. USM is now 16-5 on the season. The visiting Monks dropped their fourth consecutive match to slip to 10-11 overall.
Saint Joseph's took the opening set with some strong attacking compiling a .391 attack percentage (11-2-23). The Southern Maine attack, led by senior Jess Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.), had a better second set to even the match at one set apiece. The Huskies gained the advantage by taking the third set, then rallied in the latter stages of the decisive fourth set taking 10 of the final 12 points to win the set, and the match.
Williamson paced USM picking up her 10th double-double of the season knocking down 21 kills and posting a team-high 13 digs. Sophomores Faolain Harrington (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) and Kylee Austin (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) combined at the middle hitter position for 18 kills. Senior Mo Raymond (Sanbornton, N.H./Winnisquam) added five kills.
Junior setter Nicole Schmitz (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) directed the offense dishing out 37 assists. Defensively, Raymond also contributed 12 digs, and senior Mariah Garcia (Brighton, Colo./Central) and rookie Kristina Odom (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) chipped in with nine digs apiece. The Huskies also benefitted from 11 service aces.
Sophomore Chatham Mills (Gorham, Maine) led the Monks' attack with 13 kills. Classmate Kelsey Bickford (Somersworth, N.H.) reached double figures with 10 kills. Junior setter Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) recorded a double-double with 29 assists and 12 digs. Junior libero Jennelle Thompson (Farmington, N.H.) led all players with 19 digs.
Southern Maine hits the road on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) to play a Little East Conference match at Keene State College (18-3, 3-0). Saint Joseph's is also on the road Saturday traveling to Albertus Magnus College for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match along with Rivier College.
COURTESY OF SOUTHERN MAINE SPORTS INFORMATION
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 474-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.