STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (3-9, 2-1 GNAC) split a hard fought Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with Simmons University (5-7, 1-1 GNAC) and Regis College (8-4, 1-1 GNAC) at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Monks posted a come from behind 3-2 (12-25, 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 15-12) victory over the Sharks in the opener and nearly repeated the effort in a 3-2 (25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25, 15-13) setback at the hands of the Pride in the nightcap.
SAINT JOSEPH'S 3, SIMMONS 2
The Monks were off to a slow start, falling 25-12 in an uncompetitive first set, but rallied to a 2-1 lead with 25-20 and 25-23 wins. The Sharks showed life with a 25-17 fourth-set triumph to set up a thrilling deciding frame that featured five ties and four lead changes.
In the fifth frame, St. Joe's jumped out to a 2-0 lead off kills from freshman Hannah Bureau (Alton, N.H.) and junior Kelsey Bickford (Somersworth, N.H.), but Simmons claimed the lead, 6-4, with the help of a pair of Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) kills.
The seesaw battle continued until late in the set when the Monks, trailing 12-11, rattled off four unanswered points – all off Simmons attack errors – to claim the important conference win.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Freshman Sarah Quinn (Dover, N.H.) registered 12 kills, four aces, and eight digs
- Bickford posted 12 kills and four digs
- Sophomore Erin Olson (Stoughton, Mass.) added nine kills on 21 attempts
- Senior Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) contributed 26 assists and 13 digs
- Senior Jennelle Thompson (Rochester, N.H.) chipped in with 20 digs
LEADERS – SIMMONS:
- Freshman Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) posted 11 kills with one error on 17 attempts for a .588 kill rate along with three block solos
- Sophomore Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) notched a double-double with 10 kills and 13 assists and added eight digs
- Sophomore Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) chipped in with eight kills, eight service aces, and four digs
- Junior Kenna McCarthy (Murrieta, Calif.) contributed 22 assists
REGIS 3, SAINT JOSEPH'S 2
After dropping the first two sets by a combined six points, Saint Joseph's managed to erase an early six-point deficit to take the third set by a 25-23 score, as the Monks benefited from three straight Regis attack errors and a kill from Olson to make it a 2-1 game.
In the fourth set, neither team attained a lead greater than three points until the Pride posted a 4-0 run late to claim a 23-19 cushion. The Monks proceeded to rattle off six unanswered points and broke a 23-23 tie with kills from Bickford and Olson to even the match at 2-2.
Neither team posted a lead of more than two points for the entirety of the fifth set, but with the score tied 13-13, the Pride took the lead for good on an SJC attack error and earned the 3-2 win on a MacKenzie Emco (Sutton, Mass.) kill.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Quinn paced the Monks with 17.5 points after dealing 15 kills with two aces and eight digs
- Bickford produced 15 kills and five digs
- Olson posted eight kills and six total blocks
- Dyer tallied three kills, 29 assists, and 18 digs
- Sophomore Sophia Randall (Epping, N.H.) added 14 assists and five digs
- Thompson led all players with 40 digs
LEADERS – REGIS:
- Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) enjoyed a monster match with 19 on 51 attempts with a .294 attack rate, three aces and 17 digs
- Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas) contributed 11 kills on 30 attempts with a .300 attack rate
- Caroline Fuentes (Downey, Calif.) tallied 21 digs and six assists
- Mica van der Meulen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) chipped in with 27 assists, three aces, and 10 digs
- Lauren Butt (Topsfield, Mass.) added five kills and five total blocks
Saint Joseph's returns to action Wednesday with a GNAC match at Norwich University. First serve is slated for 4:00 PM.