NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- Junior outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) smashed 38 kills, including her 1,000th career kill, to lead the Simmons University women's volleyball team to victories over host Norwich University (3-2; 25-23, 18-25, 21-25, 25-10, 15-4) and Albertus Magnus College (3-0; 25-8, 25-11, 25-15) this afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Andrews Gymnasium in Northfield, Vt. The Sharks improve to 13-6 overall, including 6-1 in league action, while Norwich is now 11-7 and 4-2 and Albertus Magnus falls to 7-14 and 0-5.
Simmons hit .167 or better in all eight sets it played in this afternoon, while serving up 25 aces. The Sharks committed just six attack errors vs. Albertus Magnus and hit .593, .476 and .452 in sets one through three, respectively.
Weeg put down a match-high 22 kills in the opening match with Norwich to leave her one shy of 1,000. The outside hitter spiked for a kill to give the Sharks the first point of the opening set vs. Albertus Magnus for her milestone kill. She dominated against Albertus Magnus, finishing with 16 kills on a .538 hitting mark and also added three digs and a block assist for the day. Junior middle blocker Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.) swung for seven kills in each of the matches and hit .333 against Norwich to go with three block assists and .429 against Albertus Magnus. Sophomore middle blocker Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) was extremely efficient with eight kills on a .500 hitting percentage to go with six total blocks against Norwich and registered six kills in seven swings for a torrid .857 hitting clip in addition to four aces against Albertus Magnus. Sophomore right side hitter Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) put away seven kills in each match, while junior setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) set for 79 assists, including 47 vs. Norwich to go with three aces and seven digs. Junior libero Morgan Lauvray (Murrieta, Calif.) got down for 20 digs and fired four aces vs. Norwich in addition to seven digs and four aces vs. Albertus Magnus. Junior defensive specialist Julia Fusco (Beverly, Mass.) racked up 16 digs on the day, including 11 vs. Norwich. First year outside hitter Sydney Iannantuono (East Lyme, Conn.) and junior outside hitter Megan Rice (Leverett, Mass.) each came up big in single matches with Iannantuono striking for 12 kills, seven digs and a pair of block assists vs. Norwich and Rice swinging for seven kills in 10 attempts for a .700 hitting mark in addition to a block assist vs. Albertus Magnus.
The opening set with Norwich was a back-and-forth affair with nine ties recorded throughout the set. Simmons held a slight advantage through the first half of the match but only led by as many as two at any juncture. Trailing 8-6, the Cadets battled back and enjoyed their first lead of the set following a pair of kills by senior middle blocker Marissa Perrotti (Moultonborough, N.H.) and senior defensive specialist Brianna Dawson (Katonah, N.Y.) before an attack error from the visitors caused them to utilize a timeout.
After the teams traded points, the hosts changed an 11-11 tie into a 16-11 advantage with a 5-0 run highlighted by a pair of kills from junior outside hitter Kathryn Farnum (North Andover, Mass.). The teams continued to trade points resulting in four more ties, the final one coming at 23-23. The Sharks used a Gabriela Hernandez (San Francisco, Calif.) ace and a kill from Purser to claim set one.
Norwich was almost error free on the attack in the second set, hitting .467 as a team. The Cadets jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage in the second set before the Sharks clawed their way back into a lead at 11-9. The Cadets sandwiched back-to-back runs of four and three points around a sideout from Simmons to gain a 16-12 edge with senior outside hitter Michele Zummo (Highland Mills, N.Y.) and Perrotti paving the way with a pair of kills each. The Sharks whittled that deficit down to two points, the latest at 20-18 only to see Norwich run the table with five-straight points to take the match.
The hosts used the same template for their third set win. First they took an early lead, just to see the Sharks battle back and take a lead of their own. A pair of mid-set runs of seven points then gave them the necessary cushion they would need to close out the set once again.
Being up facing a game-clinching fourth set, the Cadets attack faltered in the late stages of the match. The team hit just .176 in the set and was thwarted by the Sharks stingy defense at the net. The visitors posted three blocks in the set after having only tallied three total in the first three sets. The Sharks also improved their attack posting their best hitting percentage of the match at .259. Those ingredients led to an easy 25-10 win to set up the fifth and deciding set.
A pair of attack errors and a Weeg kill had the Sharks out to an early 3-0 advantage. The Cadets rallied right back after three consecutive hitting errors on the Sharks, one caused by a tandem block by junior middle blocker Julia Schroeder (Victorville, Calif.) and Perrotti. The consistent attack of the Sharks eventually won out as the visitors used an 8-0 run to essentially ice the match with four different players contributing kills.
Norwich's offense was buoyed by K. Farnum and Zummo who had 13 and 9 kills, respectively. Freshman setter Sarah Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) directed the attack with 32 assists. Dawson celebrated her senior day by picking up 14 digs.
Albertus Magnus was led by sophomore right side hitter Maria Vazquez (Hamden, Conn.) with six kills against Simmons to go with five digs, while sophomore setter Jaiden Williams (Orange, Conn.) set for 13 assists and senior libero Jesselle Guzman (El Paso, Texas) picked up 10 digs.
The Sharks return to the court on Wednesday, October 16 when they host GNAC foe Anna Maria College at Moore Gymnasium for a 7:00 p.m. start. Norwich hosts New England College on October 16 at 7:00 p.m. and Albertus Magnus heads to Providence, R.I. to take on GNAC rival Johnson & Wales University on October 15 at 7:00 p.m.