WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL SEMIFINALS: JWU Sweeps Suffolk, Rivier Tops Colby-Sawyer, 3-1


Saturday, November 3, 1PM

 The second seeded Rivier University Women's Volleyball team has advanced to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship game on Saturday afternoon with a four-set win over visiting Colby-Sawyer College, the tournament's overall #3 seed, this evening in a semi-final contest at the Muldoon Gymnasium. The win moves the Raiders to 27-6 on the year while securing their 14th trip to the conference finals since 2002. The Chargers' first season as a member of the GNAC comes to an end with a 21-11 overall record.

Rivier earned the victory by set scores of 21-25, 25-18, 25-17 and 25-15.

Graduate Courtney Collins (Litchfield, N.H.) once again led the Raiders as she recorded a .407 hitting percentage with a team-high 15 kills and four total blocks. Junior Jessica Whyte (Plymouth, Mass.) was just as dominate as she contributed with a 13-kill, .647 hitting percentage effort with three total blocks. Senior setter Hayley Macken (Clifton Park, N.Y.) directed the Raider offense with 44 assists while freshman Avery Pollard (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) paced the backline with 12 digs. Junior Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) finished a dig shy of a double-double as she totaled 10 kills and 9 digs. Senior Taylor White(Dunstable, Mass.) and freshman Sydney Racevicius (Woodbury, Conn.) each collected 11 digs in the win.

Freshman Maddie Bromley (Truckee, Calif.) was the overall points leader for Colby-Sawyer as she hammered down 10 digs and senior Courtney Murray (Quincy, Mass.) registered a .444 hitting percentage on nine kills. Freshman Anna Allen (Los Angeles, Calif.) dished out 28 helpers and scooped up 11 digs on the night while junior Morgan Flynn (Reading, Mass.) guided the defensive effort with 15 digs. Senior Nicole Olivieri (Salem, N.H.) picked up a dig and a service ace in the final game of the season for the Chargers.

Rivier will travel to the tournament top-seed Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) for the GNAC Championship game on Saturday afternoon. JWU, who is also the #2 team in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top-25 poll, has won the conference title in each of the last three seasons. This will be the eighth time that the Raiders and Wildcats have battled for the GNAC title with JWU holding a 4-3 lead. 

Courtesy of Rivier Athletics Communications.

#1 JWU 3, #5 SUFFOLK 0
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team moved one step closer to its fourth straight GNAC championship on Thursday night. The second-ranked Wildcats defeated Suffolk 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-13) in the semifinals of the conference tournament. 

Suffolk: 12-17
#2 Johnson & Wales: 30-1

Statistical Leaders:
Kate Walker (JWU): 9 kills, .471 hitting %
Katie Leidhold (JWU): 7 kills
Elyssa Nicolas (JWU): 16 digs

Of Note:
The Wildcats will host the GNAC Championship match on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Rivier. JWU and Rivier have won seven of the last eight league titles.

The Wildcats won their 57th straight home match, the fifth-longest in Division III history. They also extended the longest active winning streak in the nation to 30 matches.

JWU has won 79 consecutive sets against GNAC opponents.

Suffolk hung in during the early parts of each set, only to see the Wildcats pull away for the victory.

Strong defense by the Wildcats limited the Rams' offense. Suffolk hit .032 while the Wildcats were at .252 rate.

JWU had eight blocks, its second-highest total of the year.

The Wildcats had a 51-46 advantage in digs thanks to a match-high 16 from Elyssa NicolasMaria Coniglio chipped in 12.

For the second game in row, middle blocker Kate Walker pounded out nine kills with a .471 hitting percentage and five blocks.

Courtesy of JWU Athletics Communications.

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. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.