BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel College women's volleyball team honored its four seniors prior to the start of Saturday afternoon's Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match against Rivier University and Saint Joseph's College (ME). The Raiders picked up a pair of wins and improve to 29-3 overall and 10-1 in the GNAC, Saint Joseph's spilt the action to move to 12-12 on the year and 6-5 in the GNAC while the Saints fell in both contests to fall to 11-21 and 6-5 in the GNAC.
MATCH 1 EC vs. Rivier University – L, 0-3 (22-25, 24-26, 13-25)
The Saints battled the visiting Raiders tough for two sets before losing steam in the final frame in a 3-0 sweep for Rivier. During the action, RU middle hitter Dana Mott (Medway, Mass.) collected her 1,000th career kill in the third set to become the seventh player in Rivier history to reach the milestone for the women's program.
Mott 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 – Saint Joseph's (ME) vs. Rivier University – SJM, 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 (ME) 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 EC vs. Saint Joseph's (ME). L, 2-3 (25-18, 22-25, 25-16, 27-29, 12-15)
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.
The Emmanuel athletic department honored Atkinson, Chruscielski, Schemerhorn and fellow senior Haley Walinski (Lincoln, R.I.) prior to the start of the tri-match. This senior class helped the program to a total of 70 victories, four GNAC playoff berths including a trip to the GNAC Championship game in 2013.
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.