November 10, 2011
BOSTON, Mass. - The Emmanuel College women's volleyball team enjoyed a highly productive 2011 campaign that saw the program post an overall record of 21-16 to go along with an impressive 10-3 mark in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The 21 victories was the program's highest total since the 2006 season and for the second time in three years, the Saints were able to earn a berth to the ECAC New England Tournament for their stellar regular season record.
Early on in the season, EC played in the 42 Annual Oneonta State Invitational in Oneonta, N.Y. posting a 2-2 record. Upon their return home, they played in another local tournament in Waltham, Mass. at the Brandeis University Invitational in which they compiled a 1-3 mark.
It took the Saints a few weeks to hit their stride as the team was transitioning some new players to the roster while having some key returning players find new roles on the court. Through September 27, EC held a less than impressive 5-11 record and had lost five of its last six matches but a GNAC sweep at Anna Maria College over AMC and Saint Joseph's (CT) on September 30 helped rejuvenate the squad. Counting the sweep, EC would go on to post a 15-3 record to close out the regular season including a nine-match winning streak from October 13 through October 29 that saw them go 27-3 in head-to-head set action.
The Saints qualified for the GNAC tournament as the No. 3 seed, drawing the No. 6 seed Saint Joseph's College (ME) in the opening round. Emmanuel was able to come away with a 3-1 victory behind a 21-kill outing by senior outside hitter Jenna Ross (Centerburg, Ohio) who in the win notched her 1,000th career kill.
On November 3 In the GNAC Semifinals, the Saints fell to Rivier College, 3-0 but despite the loss were still awarded an ECAC tournament berth, garnering the No. 6 seed in a highly competitive field. Emmanuel would head to Beverly, Mass. to take on the No. 3 seed in Endicott College in the opening round and battled the Gulls to a five-set thriller, ultimately falling 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 13-15) to end the 2011 campaign.
Throughout the season, Emmanuel had several players reach career and program milestones. Ross not only recorded her 1,000th kill in the GNAC tournament, she also became the program's all-time leader in digs on October 18 vs. Simmons College and finished her career with 1,586. Senior middle hitter Rebecca Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) also joined the 1,000 kill club during the year, reaching the milestone on October 15 vs. Suffolk University. Junior libero Yun-Ting Lee (Cambridge, Mass.) notched her 1,000th career dig on October 8 vs. Saint Joseph's (ME). Senior setter Kathryne Olsen (Fairhaven, Mass.) became just the second setter in the program's history to record 2,500 assists and ended her career ranked second in program annals with 2,843 helpers.
The Saints landed four on the GNAC All-Conference Team as Stanton was named to the First Team for the second straight season, leading the GNAC while ranking second in the country with a .427 hitting percentage to go along with 500 kills. She was also named to the New England Women's Volleyball Association Senior All-Star Game for her year. Ross and Olsen were honored by the conference as Second Team selections while Lee was named to the Third Team as well as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.