STANDISH, Maine -- Sophomore outside hitter Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) tallied a match-high 16.5 points, including a career-high eight aces to lead the Simmons University women's volleyball team in a 3-2 (12-25, 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 15-12) loss to host Saint Joseph's College (Maine) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference match at Alfond Center Gymnasium this afternoon in Standish, Maine. The Sharks fall to 5-7 overall, including 1-1 in league play, while the Monks improve to 3-7 and 2-0.
Simmons held advantages in kills (48-39), aces (14-8) and blocks (10-3), but Saint Joseph's was able to score points when it counted to pull out the five-set victory.
The Sharks hit .200 or better in both sets they won, including a .314 mark in the fourth frame, but were held to negative .053 in the final set, while the Monks hit .190.
The fifth set featured five ties and four lead changes. The home team jumped out to a 2-0 lead off kills from freshman Hannah Bureau (Alton, N.H.) and junior Kelsey Bickford (Somersworth, N.H.), but Simmons claimed the lead, 6-4, with the help of a pair of Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) kills. The seesaw battle continued until late in the set when the Monks, trailing 12-11, rattled off four unanswered points – all off Simmons attack errors – to claim the important conference win.
Roberge swung for eight kills on a .357 hitting percentage for Simmons to go with four digs and a block assist and her eight aces, which stands as the third-highest total in a five-set match this season among NCAA Division three players. First year middle hitter Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) hit a torrid .588 for the match to fuel an 11-kill effort with just one attack error. She also added four blocks, including a solo and four digs. Sophomore setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) posted her seventh double-double of the season with 10 kills and 13 assists to go with eight digs and a block assist. Sophomore defensive specialist Morgan Lauvray (Murrieta, Calif.) picked up a career-high 19 digs to lead the Sharks defensive effort.
First year middle blocker Sarah Quinn (Dover, N.H.) led Saint Joseph's with 12 kills and four aces to go with eight digs and a pair of blocks. Bickford put down 12 kills and picked up four digs, while senior setter Sarah Dyer (Seabrook, N.H.) recorded a double-double of 26 assists and 13 digs in addition to a pair of aces and a block assist. Senior libero Jennelle Thompson (Rochester, N.H.) got down for a match-best 20 digs and fired an ace.
Simmons returns to the court on Thursday, September 27 when it travels to Dorchester, Mass. to take on University of Massachusetts Boston for a 7:00 p.m. contest.