WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Emmanuel College women's volleyball team picked up a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference victories Saturday afternoon at the O'Connell Center, downing Anna Maria College 3-2 (25-15, 16-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-13) and University of Saint Joseph (CT), 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-10). The Saints win streak is now at four matches as they improve to 5-10 overall and 3-0 in GNAC play. The AMCats fall to 9-6 and 2-1 in the GNAC while the Blue Jays now stand at 4-6 and 0-2.
Match 1 vs. Anna Maria College
Emmanuel jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-15 first set win only to drop the next two frames. With their backs against the wall, the Saints rallied for a 25-16 win in the fourth set by combining to hit .600 as a team in the set (12 kills, 0 errors, 20 attempts).
In the decisive fifth set, EC took an early 5-2 lead but the AMCats clawed back to go ahead 7-6 midway through the action. Emmanuel answered with consecutive points to regain the 8-7 lead on a kill by senior middle hitter Kaitlyn Atkinson (Brookline, N.H.). Emmanuel pushed ahead 13-10 only for Anna Maria to tie the set at 13-all but a kill by sophomore outside hitter Mary Shelow (Miami, Fla.) followed by an AMC hitting error wrapped up the EC victory.
Shelow finished with a team-high 16 kills while Atkinson added 13 winners. Senior outside hitter Cassie Chruscielski (Duluth, Minn.) chipped in with 11 kills while sophomore setter Carly Church (Higganum, Conn.) ran a balanced offensive effort with 33 assists. Senior libero Sarch Schemerhorn (Los Angeles, Calif.) collected 10 digs in the win.
Junior Rebecca Foti (Bedford, N.H.) and sophomore Amari King (Lawrence, Mass.) combined for all 52 of Anna Maria's kills in the match as King finished with 28 and Foti 24. Rookie setter Tierney Clancy (Meriden, Conn.) dished out 41 helpers for the AMCats.
Match 2 vs. Univ. of Saint Joseph
The Saints made quick work of the Blue Jays, cruising to the three set victory in just over an hour of action on the court. In the opening frame, the EC trailed the hosts 10-7 before closing out the frame on an 18-5 run for the 25-15 win. Saint Joseph held a 4-3 lead in the second set before Emmanuel took the lead for good on an Atkinson kill en route to a 25-14 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third frame was all Emmanuel, never trailing and coasting to a 25-10 win while hitting .360 as a team.
Shelow again led the attack with a team-best 11 kills while Atkinson, Chruscielski and sophomore Katharine Journeay (Hamton, N.H.) each added four kills. Journeay also contributed a match-high 12 digs.
Freshman outside hitter Jasmine Buckley (Beacon, N.Y.) paced the Blue Jays with six kills while sophomore setter Brenna Miller (McCleary, Wash.) added 14 assists and 11 digs.
The Saints return to action on Wednesday, September 28 when they try to make it five in a row, hosting Norwich University in GNAC action at 7:00 PM. Both Anna Maria and USJ are back on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 PM as the AMCats host MCLA while USJ hosts Lasell in a GNAC battle.