BOSTON, Mass. – Saint Joseph's College (12-12, 6-5 GNAC) split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match at Emmanuel College on Saturday afternoon. The Monks opened with a shutout (3-0) loss at the hands of Rivier University (29-3, 10-1 GNAC) and rebounded with a thrilling 3-2 triumph over the host Saints.
With the win over Emmanuel, Saint Joseph's clinches the #6 seed in the GNAC Tournament and will play at #3 Anna Maria College in a conference quarterfinal on Tuesday evening, start time TBD.
MATCH 1 - Rivier University def. Emmanuel, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-13)
Middle hitter Dana Mott (Medway, Mass.)finished the match with 16 kills and a .609 hitting percentage, one kill behind senior middle hitter Lauren Silverman (Chelmsford, Mass.) who recorded a match-high 17 winners. Sophomore setter Hayley Macken (Clifton Park, N.Y.) dished out 36 assists while junior libero Bethany Trevino (Westminster, Colo.) collected 17 digs.
For Emmanuel, sophomore outside hitter Mary Shelow (Miami, Fla.) paced the offensive effort with a team-high nine kills. Senior outside hitter Cassie Chruscielski (Duluth, Minn.) picked up 11 digs and four kills while fellow senior Kaitlyn Atkinson (Brookline, N.H.) chipped in with five kills and five total blocks.
MATCH 2 – Rivier University def. Saint Joseph's, 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-13)
In the second match of the afternoon, the Raiders cruised to a 3-0 sweep of Saint Joseph's College to lock in the No. 2 seed in next week's Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament with a 10-1 record in regular season play. The Monks hung around in the opening set before Rivier dominated in the second third set for their 10th consecutive win.
Mott and Silverman paced the Raiders with a combined 22 kills while Trevino recorded a match-high 24 digs. Macken ran another balanced offensive showing with 33 assists to go along with eight digs. Sophomore Taylor White (Dunstable, Mass.) played well late in the action recording four kills for RU.
Saint Joseph's saw six players with three or more kills led by five winners from senior outside hitter Victoria Huntley (Ellsworth, Maine). Sophomore setter Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) ended the match with 17 assists while sophomore libero Jennelle Thompson (Farmington, N.H.) collected a team-high 22 digs.
MATCH 3 - Saint Joseph's def. Emmanuel, 2-3 (18-25, 25-22, 16-25, 29-27, 15-12)
In the final regular-season tilt for both squads, it came down to a decisive fifth set, `which went in favor of the visiting Monks, 15-12. The squads got to the fifth frame by trading sets along the way as the host Saints nabbed wins in the first and third sets with Saint Joseph's battling back from one-set deficits twice to win the second and fourth stanzas, including a thrilling 29-27 win in the fourth.
Huntley recorded a team-high 16 kills for the Monks while freshman middle hitter Chatham Mills (Gorham, Maine) pitched in with 15 kills. Dyer was a rock with 52 assists and 24 digs while defensively Thompson led the effort with 36 digs. Senior outside hitter Shadai Gosselin (Somersworth, N.H.) was one kill away from a double-double with nine kills and 21 digs.
Shelow powered the Saints offensive with a match-high 20 kills followed by Atkinson and freshman outside hitter Marissa Cataldo (Melrose, Mass.) each posted 11 kills. Chruscielski was also one kill shy of a double-double with nine kills and 24 digs. Senior Sarah Schemerhorn (Los Angeles, Calif.) added 31 digs.
All three teams have qualified for next week's Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament. The Raiders earn the No. 2 seed and will welcome the Saints as the No. 7 seed up in Nashua, N.H. on Tuesday, November 1. Saint Joseph's earns the No. 6 seed and will head to Anna Maria College the same day for more GNAC Quarterfinal action.
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.