SEPTEMBER 5 | 7 PM
BOSTON – Suffolk volleyball will open its 2017 campaign Tuesday, Sept. 5 when it travels to Mass. Maritime for a 7 p.m. showdown at the Lahue Center.
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RAPID RAMS REWIND
Suffolk returned to postseason play in 2016, its first trip since 2013 and under Bonny Ducharme's leadership. The Rams' 11 journey to the GNAC Tournament came on the heels of a 4-7 league campaign.
As the field's eighth seed, Suffolk was shipped to regular season champion, undefeated Johnson & Wales, who ended the Rams' run and season.
GUESS WHO'S BACK
A wealth of experience is welcomed to the hardwood for Suffolk in 2017. Juniors Bridget Allison, Talia Lombardo and Chidera Nwankwo and senior Liz Kerek anchor the group of veterans. The trio of juniors boasts the top three numbers in kills per set with a pair of each appearing in the top two in digs and blocks per set. Kerek, meanwhile, set up the majority of the Rams offense season, averaging 4.09 aps.
Six new players will wear the blue-and-gold for the first time in be sophomore Sarah Mullahy and true freshmen Kayla Barbera, Hannah Fabiano, Ashley Fahey, Meg Kerek and Dakhensey Marcellus.
PACING THE SIDLINES
Bonny Ducharme enters her third season on the bench of Suffolk's program. In her two seasons, she has led Suffolk to its first GNAC postseason appearance since 2013, while compiling a 19-36 overall record and a 7-15 league ledger.
LIFTING THE LID
Suffolk is 5-9 in season-opening matches in the past 14 seasons. Last season, the Rams snapped a three-year skid of dropping the opening day match with a straight set win over the Buccaneers.
Mass. Maritime split its opening day action Saturday, Sept. 2. After being swept by Bay Path, the Buccaneers defeated Johnson State in straight sets to carry a 1-1 record into Tuesday's tilt.
The Bucs offense is paced by Marie Harrison's 2.17 kills per with the sophomore outside hitter also leading the way at the service line, producing nine aces over the first two matches. Jennifer Roy, a junior middle hitter, has contributed 1.82 kills per set with Michelle Sheehan holding down setting responsibilities with 4.17 assists per set.
On the defensive side of the net, April Puopolo (1.00 dps) and Kaylee Tolman (0.83 dps) lead the way.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Suffolk, Mass. Maritime series dates back to 1996. The Rams are undefeated all-time versus the Buccaneers, holding a 13-0 record including a 5-0 mark when playing at Mass. Maritime. Overall, Suffolk has swept the Bucs in all, but two meetings, and has won the last 10 meetings by a 3-0 margin.
1. Johnson & Wales
3. Anna Maria
6. St. Joseph's (Maine)
10. St. Joseph (Conn.)
11. Mount Ida
13. Albertus Magnus
|2016 GNAC RECORD
MORE READING: Volleyball Picked Ninth in GNAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
MORE READING: Kerek, Lombardo Named 2017 Volleyball Captains
Suffolk makes the trek to Western Massachusetts for the Smith Invitational this weekend. Over the two-day span, the Rams will take the court