BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel College Women's Volleyball Team rolled to a pair of three-sets sweeps on senior day, topping Suffolk University, 3-0 (25-20, 25-9, 25-23), before downing Norwich Unviersity, 3-0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-13). In the middle match of the day, Suffolk defeated Norwich, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22). With the two wins, the Saints complete their regular season campaign at 23-11 and 10-1 in GNAC action and Emmanuel has secured the top seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament. The split on the day gives Suffolk a regular-season record of 8-22, 3-8 GNAC. Norwich finishes the regular season at 13-14 overall and 5-6 in GNAC play.
Emmanuel's senior tri-captains, Cara Callahan (Medway, Mass.), Sarah Colby (West Barnstable, Mass.) and Christine Durkee (Salem, Conn.) were honored prior to the start of the first match of the day. The trio has been a part of 81 Emmanuel College victories and has led their teams to a four-year GNAC record of 38 wins and just nine losses.
In the opener, the Saints were paced by a double-double effort of 15 digs and 12 kills from Cassie Chruscielski (Duluth, Minn.). Kaitlyn Atkinson (Brookline, N.H.) hit. 667 for the match with 11 kills in 15 swings. Simone Thibault (Southwick, Mass.) came off the bench to hit. 500 with nine kills in 16 swings. Callahan notched 14 digs, while sophomore setter Sophie Fish (North Attleboro, Mass.) dished out 32 assists to go along with her 11 digs. Durkee served off a match-high four aces in the win for the Saints.
Suffolk was led by six kills from rookie hitter Krista Iacobucci (Rocky Hill, Conn.). Senior Katie Matatall (Danville, N.H.) gathered a team-high 15 digs, while Iacobucci and Glamarys Sierra (Carolina, Puerto Rico) tallied ten digs apiece. Sierra also dished out 17 assists in the effort for the Rams.
In the afternoon's second match, the Suffolk University Rams rebounded from their three-set loss to the host Saints to then snag a three-set victory over Norwich. The Rams were led by seven kills and nine digs from Matatall. Iacobucci and Yazmine Musa (Garfield, N.J.) chipped in with five kills apiece. Sierra finished with a double-double of 16 assists and a team-high 11 digs in the win.
The Cadets were paced by Kelsey Mancini (Lynnfield, Mass.), who slammed down nine kills. Tara Lyons (Pocasset, Mass.) added eight kills, while Angie Hershberger (Felton, Calif.) scooped up a match-high 13 digs. Rookie setter Katherine Crane (Avon, N.Y.) dished out a match-high 30 assists in the effort for Norwich.
In the final match of the day, Emmanuel swept Norwich, 3-0. The Saints were once again led by Chruscielski's 10 kills, five digs and two blocks. The sophomore hit .348 with her 10 kills coming off of 23 swings with just two errors. Atkinson added sic kills and two solo blocks, while Colby pithed in six kills. Callahan and junior Brittany Tutalo (Johnston, R.I.) each served off five aces, while junior setter Shannon Dudley (Morro Bay, Calif.) dished out 24 assists for the Saints. Callahan's 10 digs were a team-high for the Saints.
Norwich was led by six kills from Alex Palmer (South Windsor, Conn.) Crane handed out 16 helpers, while Hershberger and Palmer combined for 24 digs in the backrow for the Cadets.
The two wins on the day gave Emmanuel the number one seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament. This is the first time EC has secured the top seed since the 2006 season. With both Emmanuel and Rivier University finishing with a 10-1 regular season GNAC mark, the Saints won the tie-breaker by virtue of their head-to-head win over the Raiders back on October 11th.
No. 1 Emmanuel will host the 8th-seeded Lasers of Lasell College on Tuesday night, November 4th, in the GNAC Tournament Quarterfinals. The match is slated to begin at 7:00 PM in the Jean Yawkey Center.