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WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Top Seeds Sweep Through GNAC Tournament Quarterfinals



NO. 1 JWU 3, NO. 8 LASELL 0

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Top-seed No. 23 Johnson & Wales women's volleyball team (25-4) defeated the eighth-seed Lasell University (9-23), 3-0, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, Tuesday evening.

Kate Walker (JWU) – 12 Kills, .800 Att.%, 4 Total Blocks (2 BS, 2 BA)
Maria Coniglio (JWU) – 10 Kills, .556 Att.%, 7 Digs, 2 Total Blocks (1 BS, 1 BA)
Brylee Frank (JWU) – 26 Assists, 7 Digs
Hannah Dolan (JWU) – 3 Block Assists 

Lasell took advantage of a few Johnson & Wales miscues early, to jump out to a 5-1 lead, but the Wildcats did not panic. Senior outside hitter Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) and sophomore outside hitter Tiah Scott (Medford, Mass.) sparked a 14-1 run with block to take a commanding 15-6 lead.

The Wildcats never looked back. Hitting an outstanding .625 as a team, Johnson & Wales registered 11 kills on 16 attempts with just one error to take the first set with ease, 25-9.

Moving into the second set, the Wildcat offense continued to show its dominance over the Lasers. From the service line, senior defensive specialist Elyssa Nicolas (San Francisco, Calif.) helped the Wildcats open the set with a 5-0 run.

Scott helped Johnson & Wales build on its lead registering back-to-back kills, immediately after entering to go in front 8-2. Moments later, an ace by senior outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) and a kill from Dolan put the Wildcats up 10-2 and forced Laser head coach Dana Jones to call his first time out of the set.

Lasell chipped its way back into the match, pulling to within two points, 11-9, before senior middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) re-entered the match and halted the comeback. The northern California native ignited a 10-1 run with a kill to put the Wildcats back in total control, going on to take the set, 25-15.

In the driver's seat with a 2-0 match advantage, Johnson & Wales showed no signs of letting up. Coniglio opened the third set with a kill as the Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-1 lead. A rare mistake on the Wildcat offense, followed by a kill by Lasell's Meg Roberts (Newington, Conn.) pulled Lasers to within a point, 4-3. But Johnson & Wales answered. 

Senior setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) notched one of her two kills of the match to spark a 9-3 run to give Johnson & Wales a 13-6 and force Lasell to use a timeout. But it did nothing to quell the potent Wildcats, going on to take the third and final set, 25-14. 

Johnson & Wales hosts the fourth-seed Suffolk University in the GNAC semifinals on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

Courtesy of JWU Athletics Communications.


BOSTON, Mass. – Suffolk volleyball secured its first-ever season 20th win in post-season action as the fourth-seeded Rams put together a straight set victory over fifth seed Colby Sawyer in the GNAC Quarterfinals Tuesday night at Larry E. and Michael S. Smith Court. The postseason triumph came via set scores 25-21, 25-20 and 25-20.  

SCORE: Suffolk 3 | Colby Sawyer 0
RECORDS: Suffolk (20-11) | Colby Sawyer (17-18)  


  • Down 5-2, a Kayla Barbera kill jump started a Suffolk comeback that saw back-to-back kills from Hannah Fabiano level the playing field.
  • The Chargers collected the next point, but it was blue-and-gold, from there as a Stephanie Rheaume kill boasted 5-0 Rams run that made it a 10-6 set in the hosts favor. 
  • Suffolk never relinquished its four-point margin, instead, it built on the momentum and gained an eight-point advantage, 19-12. 
  • Colby Sawyer caught up and cut the distance to three, 24-21, which forced Scott Blanchard to take a timeout. 
  • Out of the huddle, the Rams took care of business and Barbera's fourth kill of the frame sealed the deal for Suffolk.  


  • Colby Sawyer put the first point on the board before the Rams rattled off seven straight including a pair of aces by Barbera to put the blue-and-gold ahead 7-1. 
  • An early Chargers timeout did not stop Suffolk, who pushed its cushion to seven, 11-4. 
  • A comeback came for CSC as it outscored the Rams 8-3 to trim the deficit to two, 14-12. 
  • Blanchard's break slowed down Colby Sawyer for a second, but not for long, as it managed to make it a one-point stanza, 15-14. 
  • Suffolk slowly gained a four-point lead, 21-17, which saw CSC use its second timeout of the stanza. 
  • The Rams maintained their composure down the stretch to grab a 2-0 advantage in the match.   


  • Suffolk handled the opening portion to take a hefty 20-9 cushion. 
  • Colby Sawyer put on a comeback show, outscoring the Rams, 12-2, to climb within five, 22-17. 
  • After Blanchard took a timeout, the team's traded points the remainder of the way, which allowed Suffolk to clinch the victory.  


  • Fabiano led the way for the blue-and-gold with a 14-kill, 12-dig, double-double effort.
  • Barbera was on the verge of a double-double as well with 11 kills and eight digs to go along with three aces and one helper. 
  • Johnson fell one dig short of a double-double with assists (38) and digs (9) with the rookie also recording one ace, block, and kill, respectively. 
  • Rheaume registered seven kills and three blocks. 
  • Kenzley Bell put together an all-around night of five kills, five digs, three aces and one block.


  • Suffolk and Colby Sawyer met in the GNAC postseason for the first time in program history.
  • The Rams hosted their second-ever league playoff game, first since 2005. 
  • Suffolk put together its first 20-win season in program history. 
  • The Rams advanced to the conference semifinals for the second straight season and second time in program history. 
  • Both of Suffolk's GNAC Quarterfinal wins have come in straight set fashion. 
  • The blue-and-gold defeated Colby Sawyer for the second straight meeting to move to 2-7 all-time against the Chargers. 
  • The sweep is the first for Suffolk over Colby Sawyer.  

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics Communications.


NASHUA, N.H. – The Rivier University Women's Volleyball team advanced to their 18th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Semifinals this evening as they defeated 6th seeded Norwich University in three sets inside the friendly confines of the Muldoon Gymnasium. The Raiders are now 23-7 overall on the season while the Cadets see their 2019 campaign come to a close at 15-12 overall.

The overall #3 seed in the tournament, Rivier took the quarterfinal matchup by set scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-20.

Senior Jess Whyte (Plymouth, Mass.) powered the Raider offense as she recorded 12 kills and a .545 hitting percentage. Sophomore Sydney Racevicius (Woodbury, Conn.) led the team with 13 kills while senior Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) notched a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore setter Avery Pollard (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) directed the offensive effort to a team hitting percentage of .348 with 36 assists to go along with her own six-kill, two total block effort. Senior Taryn Higareda (Rosemead, Calif.) and freshman Anna Campbell (Nashua, N.H.) reached double-figures with 11 and 10 digs, respectively in the three-set victory. Junior Julia Zargaj (Groveland, Mass.) was also stellar along the net this evening as she recorded the team high of four total blocks while registering six kills offensively.

Norwich was paced by junior Kathryn Farnum (North Andover, Mass.), who finished with the game-high of 15 kills and recorded a .371 hitting percentage to go along with her 13 digs. Her younger sister, freshman Sarah Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) totaled 34 assists on the night and senior Brianna Dawson (Katonah, N.Y.) scooped up a game-high of 14 digs along the backline. Junior Julia Schrodeder (Victorville, Calif.) also shined bright in the loss as she finished with seven kills, six digs and one total block.

Next up for the Raiders will be the overall #2 seed, Simmons University on Thursday night in Boston. Earlier this season the Sharks defeated the Raiders in straight sets by scores of 25-11, 25-21 and 25-20 back on October 9th at the Shark Tank in Boston's Fenway neighborhood.

Courtesy of Rivier Athletics Communications.


BOSTON, Mass. – Junior outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) put down 15 kills and junior setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) averaged over 12 assists per set to lead the second-seeded Simmons University women's volleyball team over visiting seventh-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Maine), 3-0, (25-9, 25-17, 25-22) this evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks win their third straight match and five of their last six to improve to 19-8 on the season, while the Monks close out their campaign at 8-22.

Simmons advances to the GNAC Semifinals where they will host number three seed Rivier University, a 3-0 winner over Norwich University, on Thursday, November 7 at Moore Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m.

The Sharks hit .326 for the match, including a scorching .591 in the opening set and added 10 aces to their night.

Weeg hit .243 for the match and added a dig, while Gray-Williams finished with 37 assists to go with 10 digs for her eighth double-double of the season for Simmons. She also fired an ace and put down a kill. Sophomore middle blocker Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) hit a torrid .636 for the contest to fuel a seven-kill effort without a miscue in addition to a match-high four aces and two digs, while classmate Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) put down seven kills as well on a .500 hitting mark to go with a pair of block assists. Junior libero Morgan Lauvray (Murrieta, Calif.) posted a match-best 13 digs and served up an ace.

 Sophomore middle blocker Sarah Quinn (Dover, N.H.) led the Saint Joseph's offense with eight kills behind a .375 hitting rate and added two digs, an ace and a block assist, while junior middle blocker Erin Olson (Stoughton, Mass.) put down six kills and got up for three block assists. First year setter Hannah Bureau (Alton, N.H.) set for 16 assists, picked up a pair of digs and assisted on three blocks and junior libero Madison Provencher (Rochester, N.H.) got down for seven digs and registered four assists.

The Sharks raced out to a 15-5 advantage in the first frame, behind five kills from Weeg. Simmons maintained a 16-8 lead before closing out the set with nine of the final 10 points, including three more kills from Weeg and a pair of aces from Fortune for a 25-9 triumph. 

The teams played within two points of each other for most of the midway point of the second set. The Sharks held a 12-11 edge before ripping off six of the next seven points, including a pair of kills from first year outside hitter Sydney Iannantuono (East Lyme, Conn.), to take an 18-12 margin. Senior outside hitter Kelsey Bickford (Somersworth, N.H.) put down a kill to pull the Monks to within 19-15, but Simmons closed out the frame with a 6-2 stretch, capped by a Gray-Williams kill to give the home team the set at 25-17.

Saint Joseph's led for most of the third set and took its largest lead of the night at 17-9, behind four kills from Bickford. The Sharks collected themselves and reeled off eight unanswered points during Gray-Williams' serve with Weeg spiking for three kills and Lloyd putting away two as Simmons pulled even at 17-17. The Monks clung to a 19-18 lead later in the set, but a kill from Iannantuono and an ace from Lauvray gave the Sharks a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the match at 20-19. Quinn swung for her final kill of the evening for Saint Joseph's to bring the visitors to within 21-20, but Simmons scored four of the final six points, including a kill from Weeg to give the Sharks the set and the match.

Courtesy of Simmons 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 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience. 

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