Nov. 8, 2010
The Emmanuel College women's volleyball team had high hopes entering the 2010 season. The 2009 season saw the Saints tally an impressive 10-2 conference record while the team returned 2009 first-team, all-conference middle hitter, Rebecca Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) and second-team setter, Kathryne Olsen (Fairhaven, Mass.).
Also returning to the court for Emmanuel was junior outside hitter Jenna Ross (Centerburg, Ohio), who finished second on the team in kills last season with 205 and sophomore Samantha Andazola (Queen Creek, Ariz.), who played in all 113 sets last year for the squad.
The 2010 season got off to a shaky start, with the Saints dropping their first five games to non-conference opponents. Despite the early difficulties, the team righted the ship and went on to win seven of it's next 11 games, including two league contests against St. Joseph's and Lasell College.
After another stretch of up and down and games, the Saints sat at 10-13 overall and 2-4 in GNAC play. Looking for some inspiration to push the team into the playoffs, Ross and Andazola each responded by being named to the GNAC Honor Roll for the week of Oct. 13 for their superior play on the court.
Olsen too stepped up to the task and in a home contest against Simmons College on Oct. 19 and tallied her 2,000th career assist in the first set of a 3-0 win over the Sharks. Olsen is just the third player in Emmanuel history to surpass the 2,000 mark for career helpers and will look to break the all-time record in her senior season next year.
The team found the footing that it was looking for against Simmons and went on to tally seven straight wins to close out the season and secure a fifth-place berth in the GNAC playoffs.
In the team's final home game, the Saints took some time before the match against Suffolk to honor the two seniors who had devoted their time and energy to the program's success over the past four years. Megan Clary and Megan Murray were each recognized by their teammates, coaches and the fans prior to the Saints' 3-0 win.
The Saints travelled to Mount Ida for the opening round of the 2010 GNAC Tournament, looking to upset the fourth-seed and move into the semi-finals. Althought the odds were against them, the team opened with strong play and refused to look back. Stanton led the team with 13 kills and Olsen notched 27 assists as Emmanuel cruised to a 3-0 victory, 25-21, 25-12, 25-11.
Next up for the Saints was top-seeded Johnson & Wales. The two teams had battled to an epic five-set match on Oct. 16 with JWU earning the 3-2 win and handing the Saints their most recent loss.
Although the team teams played evenly and the Saints managed to take the second set, 25-20, JWU found it's stride and earned a 3-1 victory to end Emmanuel's season.
Overall, the Saints finished the season with an 18-14 record and an 8-4 mark in GNAC play. Ross led the Saints with 290 kills for the year with Stanton finishing second with 279. Olsen's 823 assists were not only tops for the team, but her 7.69 assists per game was also best for the conference.
Three players also blasted over 30 service aces for the team as well, with Andazola grabbing 63, Ross adding 44 and Clary notching 34.
On the defensive side of the net, the Saints were led by sophomore libero Yun-Ting Lee, who posted 545 digs and Stanton's 54 solo blocks and 54 assisted blocks for a grand career-high total of 108.
Stanton's spectacular play in front of the net earned her a spot on the 2010 GNAC second-team, all-conference while Olsen grabbed a spot on the league's third-team.