NEW LONDON, N.H. -- Sophomore setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) finished a kill short of a triple-double with nine kills, 22 assists and 17 digs to go with a block assist to lead the sixth-seeded Simmons University women's volleyball team in a 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 25-23) loss to host number three seed Colby-Sawyer College this evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals at Coffin Field House in New London, N.H. The Sharks close out their season at 14-15, while the Chargers improve to 21-10 and advance to the Semifinals on November 1 in Nashua, N.H., facing second-seeded Rivier University, which defeated seventh-seeded Emmanuel College (Mass.), 3-0.
Colby-Sawyer was stingy at the net, registering 10 team blocks and held Simmons' nationally-ranked service game in check, limiting the Sharks to just six aces.
First year middle blocker Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) swung for 11 kills on a .444 hitting percentage and added four block assists and a trio of aces for Simmons, while classmate Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) also reached double figures with 10 kills and added four digs and three block assists. First year outside hitter Reilly Coombs (Deland, Fla.) was the fourth Shark with nine or more kills, finishing a kill shy of a double-double after recording 15 digs. Junior setter Kenna McCarthy (Shelter Island, N.Y.) set for 23 assists to go with six digs.
Chargers first year Maddie Bromley (Truckee, Calif.) led all players with 16 kills and 19 digs. Junior Naarah Cox (Boston, Mass.) added nine kills, two solo blocks and five block assists. Senior Courtney Murray (Quincy, Mass.) chipped in five kills and first-year setter Anna Allen (Los Angeles, Calif.) posted a match best 37 assists, while junior Morgan Flynn (Reading, Mass.) finished with 15 digs.
The home team raced out to an 8-2 lead in the first set, which was capped by a Sam Mohammed (Killingworth, Conn.) kill. The Sharks rallied to eventually tie the set at 11-11 after a kill by Lloyd. With the score 20-18, Colby-Sawyer finished the set on a 5-2 run, thanks to three kills from Bromley, including the set-clincher. Bromley had six kills in the set.
The second set was close throughout and featured nine ties and three lead changes. Simmons took an 18-13 lead to force a Chargers timeout. Colby-Sawyer battled back to tie the score at 21-21 to force a Sharks timeout. The teams traded the next few points until the Chargers closed the frame with a kill from Katarina Hornung (Stratton, Colo.) and a Simmons error. Coombs had four kills for Simmons, while Bromley added five more to her total for Colby-Sawyer.
The third set featured 10 ties and six lead changes. The Chargers held a 15-13 lead, but a few errors, coupled with kills from Coombs and sophomore outside hitter Riley Roberge (Peoria, Ariz.), put the Sharks in front 19-16. Leading 21-18 for the second set in a row, Simmons was able to close the frame out with a kill from Fortune.
The fourth frame saw the Sharks take a 9-6 margin following a Coombs kills, but the teams were separated by no more than two points for nearly the entire remainder of the set. The score was tied, for the 10th time, at 19-19 when Simmons committed consecutive errors and took a timeout. Colby-Sawyer then benefited from two more service errors and eventually closed the match with Mohammed's sixth kill of the night to take home the victory for the Chargers.