Women’s Volleyball Loses Two to GNAC Foes

Women’s Volleyball Loses Two to GNAC Foes

WESTON, Mass. – Regis College could not stop either Simmons University or Johnson & Wales University, losing to the Sharks, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-8, 25-12), and to the Wildcats, 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-15), Saturday in Great Northeast Athletic Conference women's volleyball contests at Higgins Court.

Simmons 3, Regis 1

In the first match of the day, Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) led the Pride with nine kills and seven digs, plus she had four blocks, while Lauren Butt (Topsfield, Mass.) finished with eight total blocks as Regis collected 11 team blocks. Reilly Coombs and Megan Purser collected 10 kills apiece for Simmons, with Coombs also earning five service aces and nine digs.

In the first set, Simmons would pull out to a lead, but Regis would come back and tie the set twice, at 4-4 and 12-12. The Sharks scored three straight points to open a 15-12 advantage, but the Pride would score three unanswered points of their own, led by a kill and a block assist by MacKenzie Emco (Sutton, Mass.) to pull to within one at 20-19. Simmons held off Regis, closing out the opening set with a kill by Faith Gray-Williams and a Pride service error.

Simmons (6-8, 2-1 GNAC) scored four of the first five points of the second set and maintained a lead until midway through the set, when Regis scored five straight points to pull ahead, 15-12. The teams would continue to go back and forth, creating ties at 16-16 and 20-20, but the Pride took the lead for good on a kill by Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas), consecutive service aces from Emma Morales Cestero (San Juan, Puerto Rico), and a block by Butt and Bartels. After Gray-Williams earned a kill and combined with Brittany Gotts on a block, Regis clinched the second set on a kill by Bartels, tying the match at 1-1.

The early part of the third set was close, but after a kill by Veasey closed the Pride deficit to one at 6-5, the Sharks scored 16 unanswered points to take control, eventually winning the set on a kill by Gray-Williams. Simmons carried that momentum into the fourth set, scoring the first four points and continually extending its advantage throughout the set, winning the set and the match on a block by Purser.

The Sharks finished with 19 service aces in the match, with Amanda Fortune joining Coombs with five service aces. Gray-Williams played a solid all-around match with eight kills, 20 assists, two service aces, eight digs, and two block assists. As a team, Simmons hit .405 in the final two sets while Regis ended up with more errors (15) than kills (seven) in the third and fourth sets.

Johnson & Wales 3, Regis 0

Veasey again led the Pride with eight kills and 10 digs, while Mica van der Meulen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished with 11 assists, four service aces, and eight digs. Samantha Turner (Concord, N.H.) came off the bench and was a perfect 4-for-4 in attack attempts, while libero Caroline Fuentes (Downey, Calif.) also earned eight digs to go along with two service aces.

Johnson & Wales (16-1, 6-0 GNAC), ranked fourth nationally in the AVCA Division III Coaches Poll this week, hit .374 as a team, led by Hannah Dolan with 12 kills and just one attack error in 17 attempts for a .647 hitting percentage. Brylee Frank dished out 35 assists, and Katie Leidhold contributed eight kills, six service aces, and 12 digs for the Wildcats.

Thanks to three aces by van der Meulen as well as a kill by Erin Gallagher (Tyngsboro, Mass.), Regis scored the first four points of the match. Down 6-2, the Wildcats scored five straight points to take the lead, and then the two teams exchanged the next seven points. Johnson & Wales took the lead for good with an 11-1 scoring run, and then it closed out the first set with a service aces by Monica Cordova.

The Wildcats opened a 9-3 lead in the second set and kept the Pride at that distance throughout the set. Johnson & Wales finished off the set with a 9-1 scoring run, led by a kill and three service aces from Leidhold and capped by a kill from Maria Coniglio.

After consecutive service aces by Leidhold allowed the Wildcats to open a 10-2 lead in the third set, Regis fought back with four straight points, led by Veasey with three kills. The Pride closed to within three at 15-12 on a kill by Julia Pelland (Brockton, Mass.), but once again Johnson & Wales finished off the set with a significant scoring run, this time 7-2, capped by a kill from Dolan.

Before defeating Regis, Johnson & Wales swept Simmons (6-9, 2-2 GNAC), 3-0 (25-6, 25-11, 25-18), led by Leidhold with 10 kills and Elizabeth Hamilton with 11 digs. Fortune and Purser led the Sharks with six kills apiece, and Coombs collected 12 digs.

Regis (8-7, 1-4 GNAC) looks to get back on the winning track as it continues this homestand against Colby-Sawyer Wednesday, Oct. 3, starting at 7 p.m. at Higgins Court.