BOSTON, Mass. – First years Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) (16) and Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) (14) combined for 30 kills to lead the Simmons University women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 27-25) victory over visiting Emerson College this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks improve to 11-12 on the season, while the Lions fall to 13-12.
Coombs and Lloyd each recorded career-highs in kills for the match for Simmons, while Coombs added five aces to give her a match-high 21 points to go with nine digs and Lloyd hit .303 for the night in addition to picking up four digs and getting up for a pair of block assists. First year middle hitter Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) also contributed with nine kills on a .389 hitting mark in addition to an ace and a block assist. Sophomore libero Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) got down for 18 digs and fired a pair of aces, while sophomore defensive specialist Morgan Lauvray (Murrieta, Calif.) registered 14 digs. Sophomore setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) recorded her 11th double-double of the year with 20 assists and 11 digs to go with five kills and an ace.
Senior middle blocker Kelley Guerra (Randolph, N.J.) was one of three players with double-digit kills for Emerson, spiking for 14 on a .344 hitting percentage in addition to five assisted blocks and three digs. Senior outside hitter Fara Cohen (Morristown, N.J.) swung for 12 kills and picked up match-high 20 digs for her seventh double-double of the year, while sophomore right side hitter Albany Alexander (Orlando, Fla.) put down 10 kills and scooped up five digs. Senior setter Moira Brennan (Glenview, Ill.) set for a match-best 34 assists and added seven digs and three block assists.
The Sharks took a 13-9 lead midway through the opening set, following five straight points, including a pair of kills from sophomore middle blocker Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.). The Lions responded with an 8-3 burst, led by a pair of kills from junior outside hitter Jessica Braunstein (Demarest, N.J.), to take a 17-16 edge. Emerson extended its lead to 23-20, but Simmons scored six of the final seven points, including a pair of aces from Fusco to knot the match at 24-24 and give the Sharks a 25-24 margin before taking the set for a 1-0 match lead.
Simmons opened a 12-7 cushion in second frame, behind three kills from Coombs and later maintained a 16-11 advantage. The Sharks continued to hold a 21-18 margin, but the Lions regrouped to close out the set on a 7-2 run, including a pair of aces from Braunstein and a kill from Cohen to give the visitors the set at 25-23.
Emerson continued its momentum into the third set, taking an early 7-3 lead, paced by a pair of kills from Guerra. The Lions maintained their lead for most of the set and boasted a 17-15 margin, but Simmons ripped off nine unanswered points, including a pair of kills from Lloyd, to take a 24-17 advantage. Emerson came back with three straight points, including two kills from Cohen, but the Sharks were able to hold on for a 25-20 set win and take a 2-1 match lead.
The Lions held an early 7-6 lead, but eight straight points as part of a 10-1 run fueled by four aces and a kill from Coombs, gave the Sharks a 16-8 lead. Emerson battled back, scoring nine of the next 11 points, including two kills each from Braunstein and Guerra, to close to within 19-18. The Lions later took their first lead of the set at 24-23, but Simmons tallied four of the final five points, including kills from Purser and Lloyd, to earn a 27-25 fourth set win and a 3-1 match victory.
The Sharks return to the court on Saturday, October 20 when they travel to Newton, Mass. for an 11:00 a.m. tri-match with Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Lasell College and non-conference opponent Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Emerson returns to action on the same day, hosting a tri-match at the same time with Framingham State University and Connecticut College.