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Saints Women’s Volleyball Drops 3-1 Decision to Stingy Rival Simmons

Shannon Dudley (1) sets up Kaitlyn Atkinson (50) for the kill as their teammates look on. (Photo: Sarah Ebersole, Hub Staff Photographer)

Shannon Dudley (1) sets up Kaitlyn Atkinson (50) for the kill as their teammates look on.
(Photo: Sarah Ebersole, Hub Staff Photographer)

The Emmanuel College women’s volleyball team fell victim to a number of tough bouts of misfortune Thursday night against its cross-street rival Simmons, leading them to their first GNAC loss of the 2014 season 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 11-25). The loss drops the Saints to 19-10 overall, and 6-1 in the GNAC.

The game was Emmanuel’s annual Dig Pink game to raise awareness for breast cancer. Both teams wore pink shirts in the pre-game warm-ups, along with pink socks, ribbons, and a few players even had pink shoe laces. Parents of some of Emmanuel’s players also sold baked goods with all proceeds going to breast cancer awareness. 

Starting early in the second set, it seemed as though the Sharks began to all the bounces and calls to go their way. The Sharks went on to countless streaks where, despite strong offensive play by the Saints, the Simmons defense was impenetrable, allowing them a number of lengthy scoring runs.

The Saints got off to a slow start in the first set that saw them quickly fall behind 4-1 early in the night. The Saints responded with a quick 4-0 run to grab a 5-4 lead. The two teams went back and forth for the majority of the set, but the Saints slowly pulled away at the end, taking a 25-19 win in the opening set.

The second set is where the tides turned in the Sharks favor on Thursday night. A 6-0 run saw Simmons take a 20-12 lead, thanks in part to stellar defense that simply would not allow the ball to touch the floor. The Saints responded with a 4-0 run of their own to make it interesting, but the bid fell short, and the Sharks grabbed set two 25-22.

Three big kills by Emmanuel’s Brittany Tutalo, Danielle Rose, and Sarah Colby helped the Saints jump out to a 5-2 lead early in the third set, but a key timeout taken by Simmons first year head coach Dani Soubliere refocused the Sharks, who were able to come back and tie it at nine before beginning to pull away. A demoralized and mentally-defeated Saints team could not solve the Sharks’ stingy defense, and despite another late comeback, the Saints rally fell short, giving Simmons the 2-1 lead with a 25-21 win.

As the number of bounces going Simmons’ way continued to climb, the morale of the Saints found itself dwindling. A 7-0 run to open the fourth set put the Saints behind for good, as the Sharks cruised to a 25-11 win, closing out a 3-1, come from behind win over their rivals from Emmanuel.

Rose led the way for the Saints, racking up a season-high 14 kills in the loss, beating her previous season-high by six kills. Sophomores Cassie Chruscielski and Kaitlyn Atkinson also added double digit kills, with eleven and ten, respectively.

The Saints return to the court this Saturday, October 25 in a tri-match at the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.), with matches against the host Blue Jays as well as against Johnson and Wales. The Saints are next at home on their senior day on Saturday, November 1 in a tri-match with Suffolk and Norwich.

Curtis Fraser is the Sports Editor and for The Hub. He can be contacted at fraserc@emmanuel.edu.

Posted by on October 24, 2014. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.