BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons University women's volleyball team erased a 2-0 deficit, but was unable to secure the fifth and final set in a 3-2 (25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 19-25, 15-11) loss to visiting Gordon College this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks fall to 3-5 on the season, while the Fighting Scots improve to 4-6.
Gordon hung on to win the match after taking the first two sets, but Simmons battled back to knot the match at 2-2, before the Fighting Scots stormed back to win the final frame for the victory.
Sophomore setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) posted her seventh double-double of the season for the Sharks with 13 kills and 13 assists to go with eight digs and three blocks, while first year outside hitter Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) smashed 11 kills on a .345 hitting mark to go with five aces and 20 digs. First year middle hitter Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) put down nine kills on a .263 hitting mark and sophomore Brittany Gotts (Topsfield, Mass.) swung for eight kills. Sophomore libero Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) picked up 26 digs, while junior setter Kenna McCarthy (Shelter Island, N.Y.) set for 24 assists.
Junior outside hitter Amanda Snyder (San Jose, Calif.) registered 19 kills to lead Gordon. Snyder hit .255 for the match, while adding three aces and three block assists for the Fighting Scots and sophomore setter Ashley Gergins (Murrieta, Calif.) directed the offense with 46 assists, while picking up 11 digs on the defensive end. Senior outside hitter Mackenzie Hinds (Higganum, Conn.) also posted a double-double with 11 kills and 17 digs and junior libero Jenny Curtiss (Larkspur, Colo.) got down for a match-high 27 digs.
The teams played within three points of one another before sitting tied at 10-10 in the opening set. Simmons took a 19-12 lead, after a 12-3 run, fueled by a pair of kills from Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) and two of her match-high eight aces. Gordon closed to within a point with a 6-0 run, including five points on the service of Hinds and three kills from Snyder. Gray-Williams stopped the run with a kill for the Sharks to make it 20-18, but the Fighting Scots scored seven of the final nine points, including a kill from Snyder to give the visitors a 25-22 opening set win.
Gordon took an early 10-6 lead in the second frame, before Simmons knotted the score at 12-12 on a 6-2 burst, led by three kills from Coombs. The teams remained deadlocked at 13-13, but the Fighting Scots turned in a 6-1 dash to take a 20-15 margin. The Sharks cut the deficit to 21-18, but Snyder put down four straight kills to close out the frame for Gordon and give it a 2-0 match lead. The Scots hit .300 for the set.
Simmons reeled off four unanswered points, including three aces from Roberge to start set three and extended its lead to 10-4, following a 5-1 burst. The Sharks later maintained a 20-13 advantage, but a 6-2 stretch, capped by a Snyder kill, pulled the Scots to within 22-19. Simmons held off the charge and took a 25-22 set win following a kill from Gray-Williams.
Coombs put down a kill to begin the fourth set for the Sharks and then reeled off eight straight points on her serve, including three aces, to give the home team a 9-0 lead. Gordon responded with five unanswered points to close to within 9-5, but two kills from Coombs sparked four straight points that later gave Simmons a 17-10 cushion. The Fighting Scots scored eight of the next nine points, including a pair of kills from junior right side hitter Jamie Tafoya (Fort Collins, Colo.) and two aces from Snyder, to pull to within 18-16. The Sharks finished the set on a 6-2 run, including two kills from Gotts, to even the match at two sets each.
Gray-Williams spiked for three kills as Simmons jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth set. Gordon put together a 7-2 run, including a pair of kills from Snyder, to give the Scots an 8-6 margin. Roberge later put down a kill to tie the match at 9-9, but it was as close as the Sharks would get as Gordon finished the frame with six of the final eight points, including a block assist from sophomore middle hitter Jacque Fitzgerald (Wyantskill, N.Y.) and Hinds, to make it 15-11.
Simmons heads to Northampton, Mass. to play Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Smith College in tri-match action on Saturday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. The Fighting Scots return to the court on September 15 when they travel to Bridgewater, Mass. to take on Bridgewater State University and Wheaton College (Mass.) in a 1:00 p.m.