NEWTON, Mass. - First year middle blocker Emmee Ashby (Payson, Ariz.) spiked for a match-high 15 kills to lead the Simmons College women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15) victory over host Lasell College this evening in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference match in Newton, Mass. The Sharks win their third straight match to improve to 3-10 overall and 3-1 in league play, while the Lasers fall to 2-17 and 0-3.
Lasell owned a 10-7 margin following a service ace from first year libero Caitlyn Garcia (Moreno Valley, Calif.), but Simmons reeled off 10 unanswered points on junior defensive speciliast Chanel Thomas' (Phoenix, Ariz.) service. She fired a pair of aces, while Ashby (2) and sophomore outside hitter Cailin Fredrickson (Columbia, Md.) (3) combined for five kills during the stretch to give the Sharks a 17-7 advantage. Simmons cruised the rest of the way for a 25-19 first set win.
The Sharks turned another deficit into a lead in the second frame, trailing 14-9, Fredrickson paced an 11-2 run with a pair of kills to give Simmons a 20-16 lead. The Lasers later closed to within 23-21, but Ashby put away a pair of kills to give the Sharks the set and a 2-0 lead.
The teams were knotted at 14-14 in the third set, before Lasell scored five of the next six points, while receiving a pair of aces from sophomore defensive specialist Cassandra Stout (Plymouth, Mass.) for a 19-15 lead. The Sharks later cut the deficit to 22-20 after a kill from sophomore middle hitter Abby Hart (Westfield, Mass.), but the Lasers scored the final three points to take the third set.
The teams played within two points of each other for the first half of the fourth set and were tied at 12-12. First year defensive specialist Susan Wilson (Winchester, Mass.) patrolled the service line as Simmons ripped off six straight points, including a pair of aces from Wilson and two kills from first year outside hitter Sarah Woodward (Deerfield, Mass.) to give the Sharks an 18-12 cushion. Lasell pulled to within 20-15, but Simmons put the match away with the final five points, including a pair of aces from sophomore libero Alex Itasaka (Bradford, Mass.).
Ashby hit .303 for the night and added three digs and five total blocks for the Sharks. Woodward spiked for 11 kills to go with seven digs, while Fredrickson finished with seven kills, two digs and a pair of block assists. Sophomore setter Andalyn Duke (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) put up 38 assists and added four kills, four digs and a block assist. Itasaka scooped up 14 digs and also served up a pair of aces.
Heather Longley (North Granby, Conn.) and Meredith Eagan (North Andover, Mass.) each notched eight kills for Lasell, with Longley also chipping in three total blocks. Taylor Tiezzi (Meriden, Conn.) chipped in a double-double with 25 assists and 18 digs, Odina Ellis (Providence, R.I.) added five kills and two and a half blocks and Kathy Cameron (Boston, Mass.) tallied five kills for Lasell.
Simmons returns to action on Saturday, October 4 when it heads to Cambridge, Mass. to play in a tri-match hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Sharks take on MIT at 10:30 a.m. and will play Tufts University at 12:30 p.m. Lasell will travel to Suffolk University for a GNAC tri-match against the Rams and Rivier University at 1:00 p.m.