(Nashua, NH) The Rivier University Women's Volleyball team battled their way to a season opening split this afternoon at the Pride Invitational hosted by Regis College in Weston, Mass. In the opening match, the Raiders jumped to a 2-0 lead before finally earning the 3-1 win over Eastern Nazarene College. Just 30 minutes after the conclusion of the ENC battle, the Raiders went the distance in a losing effort – ending with a 15-13 decision to Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Game One: RIVIER UNIVERSITY 3, Eastern Nazarene College 1
Senior Nicole Peacock (Warwick, RI) paced the offensive attack as Rivier won the season opener over the Lions. The 5-8 outside hitter swung at a .550 clip en route to a team high 13 kills. Classmate Jessica Amaral (East Providence, RI) was in mid-season form as a libero as she collected 22 digs over the four-set match. Freshman Molly McCormick (Ballston Lake, NY) made an impressive debut for the Blue and White as she hammered down 8 kills and was terrific along the back line with 15 digs. Sophomore setter Emily O'Reilly (San Francisco, CA) finished with 34 assists as she continues where she left off last season.
Eastern Nazarene was led by Hannah Welsh, who had a game high 14 kills. Dana Day collected 14 digs while Lauryl Berger had 31 assists.
Game Two: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3, RIVIER UNIVERSITY 2
After a tough first game, the Raiders looked a little fatigued as they were unable to close out a tough MIT squad in the second game of the day. MIT, playing in their first game of the evening, took the decisivie fifth set 15-13 to earn the victory.
Peacock once again collected double-digit kills as she led the team with 16. Sophomore Jackie Pisecco (Chelmsford, MA) was right behind her as the outside hitter nailed down 11 kills with McCormack adding 9. O'Reilly was the offensive leader for Rivier as she recorded 43 assists. Both McCormack and Amaral combined for 37 digs. Freshman Lauren Silverman (Chelmsford, MA) registered 6 kills and a .545 hitting percentage in the loss.
The Engineers were led by the combination of Tatiana Berger and Megan Gebhard who had 16 and 15 kills respectively. Nicole Gagnier chipped in with 40 assists while Tori Wulthrich had 15 digs.
The Women's Volleyball team will return to action tomorrow in day two of the Invitational as they will take on Worcester Polytechnic in a 12pm game before battling Regis College at 2pm.