STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (8-9, 3-2 GNAC) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat University of Southern Maine (11-9, 2-2 LEC), 3-2 (20-25, 26-28, 25-19, 25-23, 15-7), in a non-conference women's volleyball match at the Harold Alfond Center on Thursday evening.
Saint Joseph's trailed for the better part of the opening set but fought back into contention with an 8-3 run as the score sat at 17-17 after USM senior Megan Nilson (Granby, Conn.) committed a service error. The Huskies rattled off an 8-3 run of their own as junior Jess Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) notched five kills to help the visitors claim a 1-0 advantage.
Southern Maine raced out to an 11-6 cushion before the Monks posted a 6-0 run – aided by four USM miscues – to claim a 12-11 edge. Neither team held more than a two-point advantage for the remainder of the set as the rivals saw nine tie scores and swapped the lead on five occasions. With the Monks railing 26-25, junior Jordynne Copp (Cumberland, Maine) belted a kill to stave off the Huskies, but the visitors received a kill from Williamson and a service ace from sophomore Nicole Schmitz (St. Paul, Minn.) to stake a 2-0 match lead.
The tide began to turn in favor of the Monks in the third set, as the hosts jumped out to an 8-1 advantage - with the help of two Shadai Gosselin (Somersworth, N.H.) aces – and never trailed en route to the 25-19 victory. Sophomore Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) and freshman Chatham Mills (Gorham, Maine) helped keep the Monks' hopes alive with two kills apiece during the closing stretch.
Saint Joseph's started the fourth set in a similar manner as the third as the hosts took advantage of five Southern Maine errors to collect an early 5-1 lead. The Huskies bounced back with a 6-2 outburst to knot the fourth frame at 7-7 and the teams stood at a 12-12 stalemate before Copp registered a kill to provide the Monks with a lead that would not be relinquished for the duration. USM managed to tie the set at 23-23 late, but St. Joe's benefited from two Huskies mistakes - a service error and a bad set – en route to tying the match, 2-2.
With momentum fully in their favor, the Monks opened up an early 6-1 cushion in the deciding set and managed to lead by at least three points as Saint Joseph's, ahead 10-7, delivered five unanswered points - including kills from Copp and Gosselin – to claim the 15-7 set win and close out the 3-2 match victory.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
Assists: Sarah Dyer - 26
Service Aces: Huntley – 5, Gosselin - 3
Total Blocks: Chatham Mills & Bickford – 3, Copp - 2
LEADERS – SOUTHERN MAINE:
Kills: Jess Williamson – 23, Robbi Termentozzi – 6, Faolain Harrington – 5, Nicole Schmitz & Mo Raymond, 4
Assists: Megan Milson – 22, Schmitz - 16
Digs: Jenna Graves – 24, Williamson – 18, Nilson – 16, Raymond – 15, Schmitz - 10
Service Aces: Schmitz – 5, Williamson – 3, Graves - 2
Total Blocks: Harrington, Schmitz & Termentozzi - 1
Saint Joseph's has now overcome a 2-0 deficit in two of the team's last four matches, The Monks achieved the same result versus conference-rival University of Saint Joseph on Saturday.
This was a great win for our team," adds Head Coach Alexis Michal. "We were able to outplay them because they seemed to get tired as the match wore on and we played together as a team to force their errors." When asked about winning after being down 2-0, she stated "we play well under pressure and use the deficit as motivation."
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 30-42 in the history of the series with University of Southern Maine, a team that defeated the Monks by a 3-0 score in Gorham two weeks ago.
Saint Joseph's will host a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match this Saturday when #18 Johnson & Wales University and Mount Ida College come to town. The Monks face Mount Ida at 11:00 AM and take on Johnson & Wales at 3:00 PM. The Mustangs and Wildcats face off at 1:00 PM.
Southern Maine plays in a non-conference tri-match at Bridgewater State University on Saturday. The Huskies battle Westfield State University at 2:00 PM and take on Bridgewater State at 4:00 PM.
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.