BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel College women's volleyball team wrapped up the 2012 campaign posting 14 wins and an 8-4 record in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). The 14 win season was the fifth consecutive campaign in which the program has tallied at least 14 victories. After losing three All-GNAC members to graduation in 2011, the young Saints squad showed much growth throughout the campaign and will look to build off this year's progress in 2013.
For the second consecutive season, the Saints kicked off their schedule in Oneonta, NY at the 43rd Annual Oneonta State Invitational Tournament only to return to Boston with a 1-3 record with their lone win coming against Hunter College.
Following the Brandeis Invitational in early September, EC found itself with a 2-6 mark but immediately captured a 3-0 victory against Fenway rival Wentworth Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, the Saints could not keep the offensive numbers consistent causing them to drop five consecutive matches during the week of Sept. 13-20 to fall to an underachieving 3-11 record midway through the campaign.
Things began to turn around on Sept. 22 when the squad posted a tri-match sweep over GNAC foe Albertus Magnus (3-0) and Mitchell College (3-1) before they closed out the month with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Eastern Nazarene on Sept. 27. During the win, senior libero Yun-Ting Lee (Keelung, Taiwan) became the program's all-time digs leader as she surpassed her former teammate, Jenna Ross (Class of 2012) in the record books.
The Saints continued to play well in October, posting a 3-1 win over Suffolk before suffering a pair of 3-0 setbacks to Rivier University and Emerson College, the top two teams in the GNAC. The losses didn't affect the team for long as Emmanuel was able to bounce back and collect a 3-0 road win over Johnson & Wales University before completing another tri-match sweep on Oct. 13 over Lasell and Gordon College.
EC would close out the regular season notching two more tri-match sweeps, posting 3-0 wins on Oct. 20 against Norwich University and Anna Maria College on their senior day as well as Oct. 27 wins over the University of Saint Joseph (CT) (3-0) and Mount Ida College (3-1) to close out the year with an 8-4 GNAC record.
Emmanuel would earn the No. 5 seed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament and draw their neighborhood rivals, No. 4 Simmons College in the GNAC Quarterfinals. The two squads went point-for-point in the opening set before the Sharks prevailed, 25-22, but it was all Simmons in the second set as they took a 2-0 lead in the match with a convincing 25-13 win in the frame. Emmanuel responded with a 25-23 win in the third set to keep the match alive and refused to go away quietly in the fourth set. Simmons held a 21-8 lead but the Saints were able to claw all the way back to within two points at 22-24 but the rally came up short as the hosts were able to advance with a 3-1 victory.
Lee, who was named the 2011 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, was recognized again by the conference as a 2012 All-GNAC Second Team selection after recording 509 digs on the year and finishing her career with a program-record 1,814 digs. She was also selected to play in the New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA) All-New England Senior Classic which took place at Babson College on Dec. 2, 2012.
Lee will bid farewell to the Saints program along with fellow seniors Moriah Logan (Halifax, Mass.) and Clare Bucci (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.). The trio helped the Saints post 71 wins in their four years, four GNAC tournament berths, three GNAC Semifinals appearances as well as two ECAC tournament appearances.
Head Coach Denitra Seals will return 12 letterwinners in 2013 and will look to capture her 100th career victory as she needs just two victories to reach the milestone.