DANBURY, Conn. -- Sophomore Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) showed her versatility with 37 kills and 40 assists to lead the Simmons College women's volleyball team to a split at the Colonial Classic, hosted by Western Connecticut State University this evening at Feldman Arena in Danbury, Conn. The Sharks fell to Salve Regina University, 3-2 (21-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-19, 16-14), before bouncing back to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham, 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-18, 25-19). Simmons is 1-1 on the season, while Salve Regina is 1-1 and FDU-Florham is 0-2 in each program's first day of competition in 2018.
The Sharks hit .214 as a team with five players swinging at a .200 or better clip.
Gray-Williams added 14 digs, five aces, a pair of block assists and hit .227 in two matches and nine sets for the night for Simmons.
The Sharks split the first four sets vs. Salve Regina, winning the first and third sets, before the Seahawks answered by winning the second and fourth frames. The teams battled back and forth in the fifth set, before Salve Regina came away with the 16-14 win.
Gray-Williams shattered her career best with 21 kills to go with 19 assists, five digs, a block assist and an ace for Simmons. Sophomore Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) put down nine kills on a .316 hitting mark and fired a team-high four aces. Sophomore middle blocker Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.) made her collegiate debut with eight kills and a block assist for the Sharks, while first year Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) debuted with seven kills and just one attack error and added three aces and six digs. Junior setter Kenna McCarthy (Shelter Island, N.Y.) set for a match-high 27 assists and sophomore libero Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) picked up a match-high 15 digs for Simmons.
The Sharks notched their first win of the season after putting away FDU-Florham with 25-18, 25-19 third and fourth set margins to end the night. Gray-Williams finished a dig short of a triple-double with nine in addition to 16 kills and 21 assists. She also hit .278 and served up four aces. First year middle blocker Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) flashed her potential with nine kills on a .500 hitting mark to go with five blocks and a pair of aces for Simmons. Roberge spiked for double-digit kills with 11 and first year outside hitter Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) was one of four Sharks with nine or more kills for the match and hit .389. Fusco got down for 17 digs and challenged the Devils serve receive with three aces, while sophomore Morgan Lauvray (Murrieta, Calif.) scooped up 10 digs and found floor for a pair of aces.
The Sharks return to play in the Colonial Classic tomorrow with a 12:00 p.m. match against Emerson College and a 2:00 p.m. tilt with Western Connecticut.