BOSTON – The Suffolk volleyball team closed out its regular season in dramatic fashion as the Rams swept Saint Joseph (Conn.) inside Regan Gymnasium Saturday afternoon to secure a spot in the GNAC post-season tournament.
SCORE: Suffolk 3, St. Joseph 0
RECORD: Suffolk (11-15, 4-7 GNAC) | St. Joseph (11-16, 4-7 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Each frame was highly contested, but the Rams controlled their own fate to lock up the victory by set scores of 25-21, 26-24 and 25-18.
The Blue Jays notched three more kills than Suffolk, 37-34, however all but two Rams notched one kill in the win. Bridget Allison's nine led the way with Chidera Nwankwo and Talia Lombardo adding eight and seven, respectively. Defensively, Allison and Nwankwo held down the net with five blocks apiece with Leah Pedersen adding four. On the reception side, Lombardo paced the pack with 18 digs and Emma Feeney contributed nine.
SET ONE RECAP (25-21, SUFFOLK)
- After a 6-6 tie, Suffolk fell behind 10-7.
- The Rams pulled within three, 17-14, thanks to a Pedersen kill.
- A 4-1 run by the Rams locked the frame at 19-19 and a kill by Lombardo put Suffolk ahead, 20-19.
- Out of a Blue Jays' timeout, the score tied again, 20-all, and the visitors regained the lead, 21-20.
- The lead was shortlived, however, as Suffolk evened the score once again and used that momentum to rattle off four more consecutive points to seal the set, 25-21.
SET TWO RECAP (26-24, SUFFOLK)
- Suffolk grabbed a 10-2 lead to open the second stanza.
- This time, USJ played catchup and came within five, 18-13.
- The Blue Jays hung around the Rams, chipping away at the hosts' lead.
- Five unanswered St. Joseph points made it one-point set, 22-21, before the score tied at 23 and again at match point 24-24.
- Suffolk coupled back-to-back points together, a kill by Feeney and a block from Feeney and Nwankwo to take a set, 26-24, and a 2-0 lead in the match.
SET THREE RECAP (25-18, SUFFOLK)
- Suffolk rolled out to a 7-0 advantage.
- The Rams' lead grew to 11-5.
- The Blue Jays rallied once again and made it a one-point set, 19-18
- Suffolk kept the visitors at bay and scored the final six points of the match to lock up the set, 25-18, and sweep.
- Suffolk will make its first trip to the conference post-season since 2013.
- The Rams recorded its sixth sweep of the season, the most by the blue and gold since putting together eight in 2013.
- Suffolk's 11 total victories and four conference wins are the most by the Rams since they went 16-14 and 5-6 against league opponents in 2013.
Suffolk awaits official seeding for the conference tournament.