BOSTON, Mass. – Junior setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) set for 33 assists and classmate Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) put down a match-high 12 kills to lead the Simmons University women's volleyball team over visiting Emmanuel College (Mass.), 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-17), this afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks have won six of their least eight and improve to 15-7 overall, including 9-1 in league play, while the Saints fall to 6-16 and 2-6.
Simmons hit .326 for the match and hit no lower than .294 in any set in addition to serving for 11 aces.
Gray-Williams added nine digs, three aces and three kills to her day, while Weeg hit .357, picked up five digs and got up for a block assist for the Sharks. First year outside hitter Sydney Iannantuono (East Lyme, Conn.) swung for nine kills on a .333 hitting mark to go with five digs and a pair of block assists and sophomore middle blocker Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) spiked for seven kills on a .333 hitting percentage to go with an ace, two digs and a block assist. Sophomore middle blocker Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) also contributed with seven kills on a .308 mark and added two block assists.
Junior middle hitter Molly Michaud (Cheshire, Conn.) led the Emmanuel attack with seven kills on an efficient .500 hitting percentage in addition to an ace, a solo block and a dig, while first year outside hitter Isabella Miller (Blackstone, Mass.) chipped in with seven kills, four digs and three block assists. First year setter Jalen Winfrey (Rochester, N.H.) helped direct the offense with 10 assists and also got down for a pair of digs. Senior outside hitter Marissa Cataldo (Melrose, Mass.) helped pace the defense with eight digs and also put down a kill.
Simmons jumped out to an 11-3 lead, fueled by four kills from Weeg, in the opening set. The Sharks maintained a 16-8 margin, before expanding their lead to 21-10, following a 5-2 spurt, paced by a pair of kills from Lloyd. Simmons held a 23-12 advantage, before the Saints made a late push to close the deficit to 24-15, but junior middle blocker Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.) put down the final kill of the set to give the home team a 25-15 opening frame.
Miller found the open floor with a kill to give Emmanuel an early 6-5 edge in the middle set, before the Sharks put together an 11-4 stretch, including a pair of aces from first year defensive specialist Gabriela Hernandez (San Francisco, Calif.), to give Simmons a 16-10 lead. The Saints scored five of the next six points, including two kills from Michaud, to pull to within 17-15, but it was as close as they would get for the remainder of the set. The Sharks went on a 7-1 blitz, getting a pair of kills from Weeg and an ace from Gray-Williams to give them a 24-16 lead, before a Weeg kill gave them the set at 25-18.
The teams played within three points of each other midway through the third frame and were tied at 8-8, before Simmons went on a 7-3 stretch, behind two kills from Lloyd, to take a 15-11 lead. Miller put down a pair of kills to keep the visitors to within 15-13, but the Sharks went on a 9-3 dash, sparked by a trio of kills from Iannantuono, to take a 24-16 lead before a Fortune kill sealed the set and the match.
Simmons returns to action on Saturday, October 26 when it heads across the river to take on Westfield State University and host Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a 1:00 p.m. tri-match, while Emmanuel hosts Fisher College on October 23 at 7:00 p.m.