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High Seeds All Sweep in GNAC Women's Volleyball Tournament Quarterfinals


#1 JWU 3,  #8 Mount Ida 0 
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Tuesday, the Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team took one step closer to winning its third-straight GNAC Championship. The Wildcats – who moved up to No. 10 in the AVCA national poll – defeated the Mustangs 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-9). 

Mount Ida: 20-13
Johnson & Wales: 30-0

Statistical Leaders:
Kate Walker: 8 kills, . 571 hitting
Hannah Dolan: 10 kills, 1.000 hitting %
Elyssa Nicolas: 13 digs
Brylee Frank: 38 assists, 5 digs, 2 blocks

Of Note:
Johnson & Wales improved the tenth-best home court winning streak in NCAA history to 37 matches.

After the Wildcats breezed to a first-set victory, the Mustangs put some pressure on JWU. Mount Ida pulled even, 13-13, on a Mary Kate Reidy kill, but the Wildcats finished the set on a 12-4 run. The Wildcats made sure the third set wasn't in doubt, running out to an 11-4 lead before going on to win the match.

JWU was dominant on both sides of the net, hitting .411 while limiting the Mustangs to a .043 rate. Leading the way was freshman Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) she hit a perfect 1.000 – tying the NCAA single-game record - with 10 kills on 10 attempts.

Just behind Dolan was middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.)  and outside hitter Katie Leidhold (Acushnet, Mass.) with nine kills each. Walker and Kelly Delaney (Calais, Maine) had three blocks as JWU had a 7-1 blocking advantage.

Setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) had the offense humming, dishing out 38 assists. Rookie Elyssa Nicolas (Brisbane, Calif.) posted a team-high 13 digs.

Mount Ida was led by the senior Reidy with seven kills to go along with eight digs.

Next Game:
The Wildcats will take on Lasell at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the GNAC semifinals. JWU defeated the Lasers, 3-0, during the regular season.

Courtesy of JWU Athletics Communications.

#4 Lasell 3, #5 Regis (Mass.) 0
NEWTON, Mass. – Junior Olivia Addington (Orange, Calif.) became the third Lasell women's volleyball player to reach the 1,000 kills milestone in a 3-0 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinal victory against Regis (Mass.) on Tuesday evening.

The Lasers break a 10-year playoff win drought, as Lasell last won a quarterfinal game on October 30, 2007 against Norwich University.

Addington sits behind Danielle Drapeau '12, and Lasell's all-time kills leader Angele Lavoie Piotrowski '07, who is currently the only female student-athlete to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Piotrowski was recently inducted into Lasell's inaugural Hall of Fame and leads the program with 1,392 kills. Addington is on the grind to top both categories, with 1,002 kills and 823 digs in just three seasons played.

Lasell earned the clean sweep victory by set scores of 25-9, 25-22, and 25-16, and improve to 15-19 overall. The Pride conclude their inaugural season with the GNAC holding a 12-16 record.

Addington swung into 12 kills, three aces, and 10 digs for a match-leading 15.5 points. Teammate Mickayla Shelburn (Waterford, Conn.) matched the junior's kill total, while Michele Canestro (Castleton, N.Y.) followed with an eight-kill, nine-dig performance. The power defense was orchestrated by senior Caitlyn Garcia's (Moreno Valley, Calif.) 12 digs, while Taylor Tiezzi (Meriden, Conn.) dished out 30 assists, nine away from a program record in three sets.

While no member of the Pride reached double-digit kill numbers, Shay Faber (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) led the attack on five kills while adding eight assists. Eight of 12 players that saw the court registered a defensive dig, led by Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.), who hit the floor for 10 total.

The Lasers will travel to top-seeded Johnson & Wales University on Thursday, November 2 for the GNAC semifinal matchup.

Courtesy of Lasell Athletics Communications.

#3 Rivier 3, #6 Saint Joseph's Maine 0
NASHUA, N.H. – The friendly confines of the Muldoon Gymnasium once again appeared on ole Hallows eve as the third-seeded Rivier University Women's Volleyball defeated visiting sixth-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Me.), 3-0 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinals. Rivier earned the win by set scores of 25-11, 26-24 and 25-14.

This is the Raiders' 14th consecutive win over Saint Joseph's (Me.) dating back to their first matchup against one another in the 2001 season. Rivier also moves onto the GNAC Tournament Semi-finals for the 16th consecutive time during Head Coach Craig Kolek's illustrious 19-year tenure in Nashua.

Junior Hayley Macken (Clifton Park, N.Y.) guided the explosive Raider offense as she dished out 31 assists while also registering 10 digs. Two-way star sophomore Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) hammered down a team-high 8 kills along with scooping up 8 digs. Senior libero Bethany Trevino (Westminster, Colo.) had herself a night as she collected 18 digs and freshman Jillian Rabasco (Nashua, N.H.) tied Dunster with 8 kills in the clean sweep.

The Monks, who finish the season at 14-18 overall, were led by sophomore Kelsey Bickford (Somersworth, N.H.) who had 7 kills with freshman Erin Olson (Stoughton, Mass.) adding three kills of her own. Junior Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) issued 11 assists on the evening while classmate Jennelle Thompson (Farmington, N.H.) led the defensive unit with 16 digs.

The Raiders will get ready to travel to Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday evening as they square off against second-seeded Simmons College in the GNAC Tournament Semi-finals. Game time is scheduled to start at 7pm.

Courtesy of Rivier Athletics Communications.

#2 Simmons 3, #7 Suffolk 0 
BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) spiked for 15 kills on a .462 hitting percentage to lead the second-seeded Simmons College women's volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 29-27) victory over visiting number seven seed Suffolk University this evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks win their school-record 11th straight contest to improve to 20-9 on the season to match the school standard for wins in a season, while the Rams end their season with a 13-16 record. 

Simmons advances to the GNAC Semifinals on Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Moore Gymnasium and will host third-seeded Rivier University, which defeated sixth-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Maine), 25-11, 26-24, 25-14, earlier this evening. 

Weeg fell a dig short of a double-double with nine to go with an ace for the Sharks, while first year hitter Jarene Harberts (Naples, Fla.) put down 13 kills, picked up three digs and fired an ace. Sophomore setter Kenna McCarthy(Shelter Island, N.Y.) set for a match-high 23 assists and added three digs, while first year outside hitter Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) chipped in with six kills on a .308 hitting clip to go with three aces, four digs and a block assist. Junior middle hitter Alexandra Erk Thompson (Canton, Mass.) registered a .500 hitting mark with five kills and also came up with a pair of digs. 

Junior outside hitter Talia Lombardo (Windham, N.H.) led Suffolk with eight kills on a .273 hitting percentage and got down for eight digs. Junior Rachel Fancy (Agawam, Mass.) and first year Meg Kerek (Holbrook, Mass.) each set for six assists and picked up two digs each. Junior middle hitter Bridget Allison (Westford, Mass.) chipped in with two kills, two digs, three total blocks and an ace. 

Simmons hit .312 for the match, while holding the Rams to a .000 hitting mark. The Sharks' hitting prowess was key to overcome 19 service errors for the match. 

Simmons hit a robust .452 in the opening set and took an early 9-5 margin, behind two kills each from Weeg and Harberts. Suffolk closed to within 11-9, but the Sharks reeled off seven unanswered points during Weeg's service and got a kill and an ace from the sophomore to give the home team a comfortable 18-9 advantage. First year libero Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) gave Simmons its largest lead at 21-10, following an ace, before the Sharks took the set, 25-15. 

Simmons hit .333 for the second frame, but the Rams took an early 6-3 lead. The Sharks chipped away and put together an 8-3 run, fueled by three kills from Weeg, to take an 11-9 lead. Suffolk later pulled to within a point at 13-12, but Simmons went on a 9-3 stretch, paced by a pair of kills from Weeg, to take a 22-15 lead. The Sharks closed out the set to take a 2-0 match lead. 

Simmons held the Rams to a -.062 hitting percentage in the third set, but committed eight service errors to keep the visitors within striking distance. The teams played within a point of each for most of the first 35 points of the set with Suffolk owning a 17-16 edge. The Sharks scored four straight points to take a 20-17 lead, but the Rams answered with three points in a row to tie it. The deadlock was one of 20 ties during the set. The Rams served for the set with a 27-26 lead, but couldn't capture the final point as Simmons tallied the final three points of the set, including a kill from senior right side hitter Amber Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev.) to give the home team the victory.

Courtesy of Simmons Athletics Communications.

Tuesday, October 31 - Quarterfinals
Game 1: #1 JWU 3,  #8 Mount Ida 0 | BOX
Game 2: #4 Lasell 3, #5 Regis (Mass.) 0 | BOX
Game 3: #3 Rivier 3, #6 Saint Joseph's Maine 0 | BOX
Game 4: #2 Simmons 3, #7 Suffolk 0 | BOX

Thursday, November 2 - Semifinals
Game 5: #4 Lasell at #1 JWU - 7:30 PM
Game 6: #3 Rivier at #2 Simmons - 7:00 PM

Saturday, November 4 - Final
Game 7: Highest remaining seed

Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.