Story written and posted by Anthony Perry, Rivier University Sports Information Director
WEST HARTFORD, CONN. – The Rivier University Women's Volleyball team earned two important Great Northeast Athletic Conference victories this afternoon as they swept both Suffolk University and the University of Saint Joseph in a GNAC Tri-Match hosted by USJ. The wins lift the Raiders to an overall record of 19-7 and 7-0 in conference play while the Rams slide to 18-9 overall and 8-1 in GNAC action. The Blue Jays, who lost both matches, are now 9-14 overall and 2-10 in the GNAC.
Game One: Rivier University 3, Suffolk University 0 (Final)
The Raiders began their day with a straight set win over Suffolk by set scores of 25-22, 25-13 and 25-21 to hand the Rams their first conference loss of the season.
Junior Julia Zargaj (Groveland, Mass.) powered the Raider offense with 10 kills and a .467 hitting percentage. Senior Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) added nine kills with six digs and sophomore Sydney Racevicius (Woodbury, Conn.) also recorded nine kills while scooping up seven digs. Sophomore Avery Pollard (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) dished out 28 assists in the opener and senior Taryn Higareda (Rosemead, Calif.) patrolled the back line with a team-high 10 digs. Fellow senior Jess Whyte (Plymouth, Mass.) totaled four blocks and three kills in the win for Rivier.
Suffolk saw Hannah Fabiano register the team-high of nine kills and Kayla Barbera chipped in with a seven kill effort. Harmony Johnson was the assist leader with 18 helpers and Dakhensey Marcellus collected seven digs for the Rams.
Game Two: Rivier University 3, University of Saint Joseph 0 (Final)
Rivier was pushed into extra points twice during the three set win over the Blue Jays with set scores of 26-24, 25-11 and 26-24.
Whyte took her turn to led the offensive output as she hammered down 11 kills and a .421 hitting percentage to go along with her five total blocks. Pollard swung at a .636 clip as she totaled seven kills while handing out 29 assists and leading the team with nine digs. Junior Allison Zagami (Milford, Mass.) shined bright in the contest as she finished with six kills, seven digs and two total blocks. Senior Sunny Foglia (Remsenburg, N.Y.) also had a solid afternoon with six kills and three total blocks for the Raiders.
For the Blue Jays, Hannah Benson led the way with a nine kill effort and picking up 10 digs. Shannon Carey and Nina Lestrud each added four kills while Nyah Young collected 14 assists. Matching Benson with 10 digs was Natalia Rabassa in the loss for USJ.
Up next for Rivier will be another conference showdown on the road as they travel to Weston, Massachusetts for a 7pm contest at Regis College on Tuesday night.