BOSTON – The second-seed Simmons volleyball team (19-7) fell to the third-seed, and defending champion Johnson & Wales University (19-9) in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) semifinals on Thursday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Set 1: Simmons 25, Johnson & Wales 21
Sophomore outside hitter Claire Conners posted a .333 attack percentage, tallying five kills on 15 attempts as the Sharks came out strong, taking the first set, 25-21, to jump out to a 1-0 match lead. Junior outside hitter Sydney Iannantuono followed up with four kills, while Kat Simeonidis paced the offense with 11 assists.
Set 2: Johnson & Wales 25, Simmons 13
Johnson & Wales responded in the second set, hitting .296 as a team they evened up the match at 1-1 winning game two, 25-13. First-year Masina Tupea was five of 10 from the floor for a .400 attack percentage, while classmate Kyra Hissner set the offense with seven assists.
Set 3: Johnson & Wales 25, Simmons 18
The Wildcats grew stronger and so too their hitting percentage as the match moved along. Johnson & Wales's .321 attack percentage in the third set aided them in winning the third set, 25-18, to take the 2-1 match advantage. Senior Elisabeth Elbrecht was four of seven from the floor for a .571 attack percentage in the win.
Set 4: Johnson & Wales 25, Simmons 21
Johnson & Wales registered its best hitting percentage in the fourth set (.333) to seal the match with a 25-21 win and advance to its seventh straight GNAC title game on Saturday. Tupea led th way for the Wildcats, tallying four kills on 10 attempts and one error in addition to notching four digs.
Offensively for the Sharks, senior middle blocker Amanda Fortune notched four kills on 10 attempts for a .400 attack percentage, while sophomore Jordan Hacker and Iannantuono led the way defensively with four digs.
- Sophomore outside hitter Claire Conners posted a .289 attack percentage, leading the way with 13 kills on 38 attempts with just two miscues.
- Classmate and fellow sophomore Jayla Parnell followed up with 10 kills and three aces. .
- Junior outside hitter registered a team-high 17 defensive digs, while also notching three aces.