Volleyball Sweeps Rivier (3-0) and Norwich (3-0); First Win over Rivier Since 1999

Volleyball Sweeps Rivier (3-0) and Norwich (3-0); First Win over Rivier Since 1999

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Simmons College women's volleyball team swept Rivier University, 3-0 (25-17, 30-28, 26-24), and host Norwich University, 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-18), in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match this afternoon at Andrews Hall in Northfield, Vt. The Sharks have won three straight matches as part of a four-match win streak over league opponents, including 10 consecutive sets and improve to 12-9 overall and 6-1 in league play, while the Raiders stand at 11-8 and 4-2 and Norwich now owns a 9-9 season and 1-5 GNAC mark.

Simmons' three-set victory over Rivier was its first over the Raiders since a 3-0 win on September 25, 1999.

The Sharks hit .429 to cruise to a 25-17 first set win, but needed extra time to win the final two frames, while holding Rivier to hitting percentages of -.029 in the second and .077 in the third. 

Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) nearly posted a double-double with a match-high 17 kills and nine digs to go with a .262 hitting mark to lead Simmons. First year hitter Jarene Harberts (Naples, Fla.) hit .219 to fuel a 10-kill effort and added eight digs and a block assist. First year setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) set for 18 assists and got up for seven total blocks, including four solos, while classmate Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) picked up 17 digs. Senior right side hitter Amber Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev.) chipped in with six kills, on a .462 hitting percentage and added three aces, two digs and three assisted blocks.

First year middle hitter Julia Zargaj (Groveland, Mass.) led Rivier with 11 kills and hit .250 to go with a pair of aces, two digs and two blocks, while junior setter Hayley Macken (Clifton Park, N.Y.) led all players with 22 assists in addition to nine digs, two kills, two aces and a pair of blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) picked up a match-high 21 digs, swung for four kills and fired an ace.

The Sharks remained hot with a stellar service game and a consistent hitting effort vs. Norwich. Simmons reeled off 11 aces and hit .230 or better in all three frames for a .270 hitting mark for the match. 

Weeg hit .348 and rung up double-digit kills for the seventh straight match with 10 to go with nine digs and four aces to match her career high for Simmons. Harberts spiked for nine kills on a .333 hitting clip and added eight digs, two aces and a solo block, while sophomore setter Kenna McCarthy (Shelter Island, N.Y.) directed the offense with 17 assists in addition to two aces and five digs. Fusco got down for 14 digs and served up an ace.

Julia Schroeder (Victorville, Calif.) put down eight kills on a .294 hitting percentage and added three digs and an ace to lead Norwich, while sophomore Brianna Dawson (Katonah, N.Y.) racked up a team-leading 13 digs in the effort. Junior setter Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) set for a match-best 22 assists, picked up four digs and swung for a kill.

The Sharks return to the court on Wednesday, October 11 when they host Lasell College at Moore Gymnasium in a 7:00 p.m. match, while Rivier heads to Boston to take on GNAC opponent Emmanuel College (Mass.) at 7:00 p.m. and Norwich returns to action on October 14 in tri-match play hosted by Suffolk University in Boston at 11:00 a.m. with Curry College.