Ashby's Career-High 19 Kills Lead Volleyball over Emerson, 3-2

BOSTON, Mass. – First year middle blocker Emmee Ashby (Payson, Ariz.) spiked for a career-high 19 kills to lead the Simmons College women's volleyball team to a 3-2 (27-25, 25-23, 15-25, 24-26, 15-9) victory over visiting Emerson College this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks improve to 6-13 on the season, while the Lions fall to 13-13. 

The teams were separated by no more than three points, through most of the first set, until Simmons took a 21-17 lead. Emerson put together a 6-2 run, including a pair of kills from Elizabeth Reid (Charlottesville, Va.) to knot the frame at 23-23. The teams traded points and were tied at 25-all, before the Sharks scored the final two points, including the set-winner on a kill from first year outside hitter Amber Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Simmons took an early 8-4 margin in the second set, fueled by three kills from Ashby and later increased its lead to 17-11 following a kill from sophomore outside hitter Cailin Fredrickson (Columbia, Md.). The Lions roared back with a 10-2 burst, paced by a pair of aces from first year setter Elaine Nichols (Boutiful, Utah) and two kills by sophomore outside hitter Amanda Linzmeyer (Huntington Beach, Calif.), to take a 21-19 lead. The Sharks answered with three straight points and later held a 23-22 edge, before Emerson tied the set at 23-23. Simmons took the set with the final two points on a kill from Fredrickson and an ace to end it from junior defensive specialist Chanel Thomas (Phoenix, Ariz.)

The Lions made a statement in the third frame and never trailed. The visitors raced out to a 10-5 advantage and increased their cushion to 16-10 after a kill from Linzmeyer. The Sharks closed to within 16-14 with four straight points, including a pair of aces from Ashby, but it was as close as they would get. Emerson closed it out with a torrid 9-1 blitz to cut the match to 2-1. 

The Sharks held a 5-2 lead early in the fourth frame for the largest lead of the set. The teams played within two points of each other for most of the set, before the home team took a 22-19 lead after an ace from Fredrickson. Emerson scored the next three points to tie it at 22-22. The teams traded points, before the Lions scored the final two points to send the match to a fifth set. 

Simmons scored four of the first five points to open the final set, but the Lions answered with a 7-4 burst to knot the contest at 8-8. The Sharks put the match away, scoring seven of the final eight points, including three kills from Ashby to take the victory. 

Ashby hit a robust .438 for the match and fired four aces in addition to three digs and three total blocks for Simmons. Fredrickson registered a career-best 15 kills on a .262 hitting mark, while adding an ace and three digs. Junior right side hitter Nicole Alberghini (Northborough, Mass.) was solid with eight kills and a pair of blocks, while sophomore setter Andalyn Duke (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) set for 38 assists, put down five kills, scooped up 13 digs and got up for three blocks. Sophomore libero Alex Itasaka (Bradford, Mass.) anchored the defense with 17 digs. 

Sophomore middle blocker Jules Augustine (Skaneateles, N.Y.) led Emerson with 17 kills and a .353 attack rate to go with three digs and a trio of blocks. Linzmeyer finished with 14 kills and 15 digs, while Reid spiked for 11 kills and added eight digs. Junior defensive specialist Giuli Frendak (Warrington, Pa.) led all players with 19 digs. 

The Sharks will be in action again on Saturday, October 18 for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match, taking on Norwich University at 1:30 p.m. and Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at 5:30 p.m., while the Lions host City College of New York and Rhode Island College in a tri-match beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the same day.