BOSTON, Mass. - First year outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) spiked for 51 kills and senior libero Alex Itasaka (Bradford, Mass.) picked up 54 digs to lead Simmons College volleyball in a tri-match vs. visiting Emerson College and Plymouth State University. The Sharks fell in a heartbreaking 3-2 (18-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, 16-14) loss to Emerson and succumbed to Plymouth State in four sets (25-21, 25-20, 31-33, 25-20). Emerson also defeated Plymouth State, 25-18, 25-21, 25-14. The Sharks fall to 4-9 on the season, while the Lions improve to 13-5 and the Panthers are now 10-7.
The Lions hit .250 and .423 in the final two sets vs. Simmons and finished with a .213 mark for the match to go with nine total blocks.
First year outside hitter Bella Edwards (Palisades, Calif.) spiked for 17 kills and added 13 digs and a pair of blocks to lead Emerson in the opening match, while senior middle blocker Jules Augustine (Skaneateles, N.Y.) put down 13 kills, got up for six blocks and picked up seven digs. Sophomore setter Moira Brennan (Glenview, Ill.) registered 44 assists and nine digs.
Weeg swung for a career-high 29 kills on a .323 hitting percentage to go with 12 digs and two aces to lead the Sharks. Hart put down 12 kills and added a pair of blocks. First year setter Kenna McCarthy (Shelter Island, N.Y.) doled out 47 assists and got down for eight digs, while Itasaka picked up 31 digs in addition to an ace. Guillotte put away a career-best 10 kills to go with 14 digs, two aces and a pair of blocks.
The Sharks held a 13-11 lead and pulled away with an 8-1 run to take a 21-12 advantage before winning the opening set vs. Emerson. Senior defensive specialist Jessica Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) fired an ace to give the Lions a 13-11 margin in the second set, but Simmons went on a 5-2 run to take the lead for good at 16-15. Guillotte sealed the set with a kill for the Sharks. Simmons looked to earn a sweep, leading 19-18 in the third set, but Emerson scored seven of the final nine points, including an ace from sophomore outside hitter Fara Cohen (Morristown, N.J.) to pull out the third frame. The Sharks again looked for the knockout punch in the fourth set with a 23-20 lead, but the Lions reeled off six straight points, including an ace from first year outside hitter Kayleen Bertand (New Boston, N.H.) to close out the set. The fifth set stayed true to the rest of the match with the teams battling to an 11-11 tie, before Edwards put down a kill to give Emerson a 14-12 lead. Kills from Weeg and sophomore rightside hitter Paola Rios (Miami, Fla.) pulled Simmons even at 14-14, but the Lions scored the final two points to win the match.
Edwards led the Lions vs. Plymouth State as well, putting away 14 kills on a .444 hitting mark in addition to 11 digs and an ace. Augustine spiked for 11 kills and hit .474, while Brennan dished out 30 assists and picked up six digs. Senior middle blocker Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) led the Panthers with 10 kills and a torrid .526 hitting percentage, while senior middle blocker Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) recorded eight kills. Junior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) set for 25 assists and added three digs.
The opening set was tied at 9-9 before Emerson went on a 7-1 run, including a trio of kills from Edwards to take a 16-10 lead and never looked back, en-route to the first set victory. The second frame saw the teams deadlocked at 18-18, before Emerson scored seven of the final 10 points, including three more kills from Edwards, to close out the set. Augustine gave the Lions a 19-11 advantage with a kill and Emerson maintained the advantage before winning the set and the match.
Taffe and Wotjas each put down 10 kills for the Panthers in their 3-1 win over Simmons. Wojtas also hit .471 and added two assisted blocks, while Taffe hit .444 and recorded five block assists. Junior outside hitter Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) fell one kill short of a double-double with 21 digs and nine kills to go with five aces. First year setter Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.) directed the action for Plymouth State with 38 assists and added seven digs and two aces, while junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) got down for 16 digs.
Weeg swung for 22 kills and hit .304 for the match to lead the Sharks and posted her second double-double of the day with 18 digs. Hart put down 12 kills and registered three blocks, while McCarthy handed out 41 assists and picked up a pair of digs. Itasaka recorded 23 digs and Guillotte registered 19 digs, seven kills and three aces.
The Panthers jumped out to a 19-11 lead and held on for a 25-21 set one win. The teams were knotted at 17-17 in set two, before Plymouth State pulled away with four straight points as part of an 8-3 run to close out the frame. The Panthers had match point at 25-24, but Simmons wouldn't submit and battled back to a 33-31 set three win. Plymouth State never trailed in the fourth set and led by as many as six points on two occasions before posting a five-point win to take the match.
The Sharks return to the court on Wednesday, October 5 when they head to Newton, Mass. to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Lasell College at 7:00 p.m., while Emerson heads to Norton, Mass. to take on Wheaton College on October 4 at 7:00 p.m. Plymouth State is in action again on October 4 as well, hosting University of Southern Maine at 6:00 p.m.