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The Emmanuel College women’s volleyball team held off a late Eastern Connecticut State University rally to win its home opener on Wednesday night, winning by a score of 3-1 (25-8, 25-14, 22-25, 25-22) at the Jean Yawkey Center Gym. The Saints improve to 5-5 on the season with the win.
After a pair of dominating sets saw the Saints jump out to a 2-0 lead, a Warriors timeout with the Saints ahead 4-2 in the third set saw ECSU settle down and start to take control of the match. Tied at 13, the Warriors jumped out on an 8-1 run capped by a kill from Eastern Connecticut’s Allie Henry. The Saints crept their way back into the set with a 4-0 run immediately following ECSU’s run, but the comeback bid fell short as ECSU won the third set 25-22.
The Warriors appeared poised to continue their comeback at the start of the fourth set, seeing them jump out to a 5-1 lead early in the fourth set, forcing Emmanuel head coach Denitra Seals to use her first timeout. The timeout got the Saints refocused, and the team battled all the way back into the set. A key dig by sophomore outside hitter Sarah Schemerhorn, in which she just saved the ball off the floor, worked its way to classmate Cassie Chruscielski to tie the set at 19. Following the key point, the Saints never looked back, thanks in part to a key ace from junior Shannon Dudley and kills from senior right side Sarah Colby and Chruscielski. The Saints won the set 25-22, taking its home opener three sets to one.
Dudley set a new career high with 39 assists in the victory, while also recording 13 digs and four aces. Chruscielski led the way for the Saints in kills, picking up 13 to go along with 8 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Kaitlyn Atkinson and junior middle hitter Brittany Tutalo each recorded 10 kills.
The Saints return to action this weekend when they head across the Charles to take on the host MIT Engineers at the MIT Invitational on Saturday. Opening serve is slated for 4:30pm.