BOSTON, Mass. – First year outside hitter Jarene Harberts (Naples, Fla.) posted a double-double of 16 kills and a career-high 19 digs to lead the Simmons College women's volleyball team over visiting Emmanuel College (Mass.), 3-1 (25-11, 25-18, 28-30, 25-8) this evening in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference match at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks win their sixth straight match to improve to 15-9 overall and 8-1 in league play, while the Saints fall to 6-17 and 4-5.
The Simmons offense hit .203 for the match to mark the 14th time this season the Sharks have hit .200 or better in a match, while the defense held Emmanuel to a -.017 hitting mark. Simmons fired 15 aces as well, but also recorded 19 service errors.
Harberts added an ace to her night for the Sharks, while sophomore outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) put down 15 kills on a .250 hitting percentage in addition to picking up six digs. Senior right side hitter Amber Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev.) hit .263 for the match and put down eight kills in addition to scooping up five digs and serving for an ace. First year outside hitter Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) tallied 11.5 points on the night with four kills, a block assist and a career-high seven aces to go with five digs and first year setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) led all players with 20 assists in addition to a pair of kills and a dig.
Junior outside hitter Mary Shelow (Miami, Fla.) led the Saints with six kills and two aces and added two digs and a block assist, while junior libero Katharine Journeay (Hampton, N.H.) got down for a match-high 19 digs. Junior setter Carly Church (Higganum, Conn.) set for nine assists and picked up four digs and junior Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) contributed with 10 digs, two kills and an ace.
The Sharks did not trail in the opening set and held the visitors to a -.077 hitting mark. Simmons raced out to a commanding 19-4 lead, paced by three kills from Harberts and a kill and two aces from Roberge. Emmanuel put together a 5-0 burst to pull to within 19-9, but the Sharks closed out the frame on a 6-2 run, capped by a kill from Harberts to give the home team the set.
Simmons committed just three attack miscues in the second set. The teams were knotted at 5-5, before the Sharks scored six of the next eight points, behind two kills from Weeg, to take an 11-7 margin. The Saints tallied the next two points, including a kill from Shelow, to pull to within 11-9 and later stayed within 17-14. Simmons closed out the set with an 8-4 run, led by two kills each from Peterson and Harberts, and took a 2-0 match lead.
Emmanuel took its first lead of the night in the third session. The Sharks held a 14-13 lead midway through the frame, before the Saints scored six of the next seven points for their largest lead of the evening at 19-15. Simmons went on a 6-2 run for one of 20 ties in the set at 23-23. Roberge fired an ace to give the Sharks match point at 25-24, but Emmanuel wouldn't succumb and sophomore right side hitter Alexandra Mezzo (Naugatuck, Conn.) put down a kill to give the Saints a 29-28 edge, before they took the third set to cut the match to 2-1.
Emmanuel was unable to record a kill in the fourth set and hit -.368, while Simmons reeled off nine aces. Sheehan fired an ace of her own for the Saints to give them an early 5-3 lead, but the Sharks scored the next 11 points on McCarthy's serve, which included three aces from the setter. The blitz was part of a 22-3 showing to finish the set and the match for Simmons. The Sharks also tallied the final seven points of the frame, including four aces from Roberge and a kill from Harberts to finish the night.
Simmons returns to action on Saturday, October 21 when it hosts Anna Maria College for an 11:00 a.m. conference tilt, while Emmanuel hosts University of Massachusetts Dartmouth tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m.