Coombs Leads Volleyball in Tri-Match Sweep over Norwich (3-0) and St. Joseph (Conn.) (3-0)

Coombs Leads Volleyball in Tri-Match Sweep over Norwich (3-0) and St. Joseph (Conn.) (3-0)

BOSTON, Mass. – First year Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) put down 24 kills on a .432 hitting percentage to lead the Simmons University women's volleyball team to a pair of victories in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match. The Sharks defeated visiting Norwich University, 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 26-24), and University of Saint Joseph (Conn.), 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-15), today at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. Norwich picked up a win in the middle match over Saint Joseph, 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 25-11, 23-25, 15-9). Simmons has won four of its last five matches, including four straight conference tilts to improve to 10-11 overall and 6-3 in league action, while Norwich is now 7-11 and 2-6 and Saint Joseph falls to 8-12 and 1-8. 

Coombs also added nine aces to give her 33 points for an average of 5.5 per set for the day and added 11 digs for the Sharks. Norwich sophomore right side hitter Kathryn Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) swung for 23 kills and fired four aces to lead the Cadets in addition to 21 digs in eight sets, while junior defensive specialist Brianna Dawson (Katonah, Hawaii) picked up 37 digs. First year outside hitter Hannah Benson (Terryville, Conn.) spiked for 19 kills and picked up 11 digs for Saint Joseph and senior libero Janell Molina (Honolulu, Hawaii) got down for 44 digs. 

Simmons cruised through the first two sets against Norwich, before the foes faced a tied score 13 times in the final set that came down to a two-point margin and the match win for the home team. The Sharks hit .283 for the match and fired 15 aces. Coombs finished the match with a contest-high 11 kills on a .391 hitting mark and added eight digs and three aces, while classmate Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) hit a blistering .636 to fuel an eight-kill effort to go with two aces. First year outside hitter Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) also put down eight kills for Simmons, while sophomore setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) posted her team-leading 10th double-double of the year with 11 assists and 10 digs in addition to a match-high five aces.

Sophomore middle hitter Julia Schroeder (Victorville, Calif.) paced the Cadets with six kills on a .267 hitting percentage to go with five digs, while Farnum swung for five kills and picked up seven digs. Senior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) set for 21 assists and added five digs.

The Sharks closed out the day with a win over Saint Joseph. Simmons never trailed in the second frame and pulled away with a late run in the third set to come away with the victory. Coombs tallied 19 points with a career-best 13 kills on a .476 hitting clip and equaled her career-high with six aces in addition to three digs. Fortune put away seven kills and assisted on a pair of blocks, while sophomore Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.) contributed with three kills, four aces and a block assist. Sophomore middle blocker Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.) stood tall with five total blocks and sophomore libero Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) scooped up 12 digs. Junior setter Kenna McCarthy (Shelter Island, N.Y.) set for 15 assists and added seven digs for Simmons.

Benson recorded six kills and added three digs, while Molina picked up 11 digs and served up an ace for the Blue Jays. Senior setter Brenna Miller (McCleary, Wash.) finished a dig shy of a double-double with 12 assists and nine digs in addition to a pair of kills.

Norwich and Saint Joseph battled to the full five frames in the day's middle match with the Cadets winning all of the odd-numbered sets. Farnum spiked for a match-high 18 kills on a .341 hitting mark, while firing four aces and picking up 14 digs for the double-double to lead Norwich. Junior outside hitter Michele Zummo (Highland Mills, N.Y.) put down 12 kills and picked up eight digs, while Dawson got down for 34 digs and served up an ace. Oliver also registered a double-double with 42 assists and a dozen digs in addition to three total blocks and two aces for the Cadets.

Benson led the Blue Jays with 13 kills as one of three USJ players with double-digit kill-efforts vs. Norwich. She also added eight digs. First year middle hitter Nina Lestrud (Torrington, Conn.) committed just one attack miscue for a .455 hitting mark and swung for 11 kills to go with four digs and sophomore outside hitter Aminah Tsonga (Plainville, Conn.) smashed 10 kills, picked up seven digs and fired two aces. Molina got down for 33 digs and Miller set for 37 assists to go with 12 digs, two aces and a pair of assisted blocks.

The Sharks return to action on Wednesday, October 17 when they host GNAC rival Suffolk University at Moore Gymnasium for a 7:00 p.m. tilt, while Norwich hosts Southern Vermont College on October 16 at 5:00 p.m. in a match that was suspended in the second set on September 3. Saint Joseph steps on the court again on October 17 when it heads to New Haven, Conn. for a GNAC match-up with Albertus Magnus College at 7:00 p.m.