WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Suffolk volleyball wrapped up regular season action Saturday afternoon as the Rams slipped to Simmons before taking down the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) at the Blue Jays O'Connell Athletic Center. Both GNAC matches were decided in four sets.
MATCH ONE – SUFFOLK 1, SIMMONS 3
The Rams and Sharks traded sets one and two with Simmons winning the first, 25-19, and Suffolk taking the second, 25-18. From there, the Sharks gained a 2-1 advantage in the match thanks to a 25-18 third-frame win and sealed up the conference triumph with a 25-22 fourth frame decision.
Suffolk slipped in its eighth consecutive match with the 3-1 setback, while Simmons improved to 19-9 on the season and 11-1 in league play.
Bridget Allison put together a 12-kill effort to pace Suffolk's offense with the junior adding three aces, three digs and a pair of blocks. Hannah Fabiano pitched in seven kills, eight digs, two blocks and one ace with Talia Lombardo contributing 13 digs, six kills and two blocks. Rachel Fancy set up Suffolk's offense unit with 26 assists, while Dakhensey Marcellus held down the defensive effort with 13 digs.
MATCH 2 – SUFFOLK 3, USJCT 1
Suffolk grabbed a 2-0 lead in the contest thanks to identical first and second frame scores of 25-23. The Blue Jays rallied in the third, 27-25, but the Rams rebounded in the fourth, 25-16, to clinch the season finale, 3-1.
The Rams capped off the regular season 13-15 overall and 6-6 in conference competition. St. Joseph (Conn.), meanwhile, finished the year 5-20 and 0-12 in league action.
Eleven different Rams registered at least one kill to combine for a team 48. Lombardo's nine-kill performance paced the pack with Fabiano and Emma Feeney pitching in eight and seven kills, respectively. Meg Kerek took the setting responsibilities for Suffolk with the freshman producing 34 handouts to go along with five digs, three aces and a pair of kills. Feeney (13 digs) and Lombardo (10 digs) added to the defensive effort.
- The victory pushes Suffolk's total wins on the year to 13, marking just the fourth time since 1996 the Rams have collected 13 or more wins in a season and the first time the blue-and-gold has done so since 2013.
- Suffolk's six conference triumphs are the most for the Rams since winning eight league matches in 2005.
- Overall, the Rams have collected six or more wins versus conference counterparts dating back to 1996 just nine times, including this campaign.
- Suffolk picked up its second straight win versus the Blue Jays to improve to 11-4 against USJCT dating back to 2003.
- The Rams are 2-1 against the Blue Jays in the Bonny Ducharme era.
- Three different Rams recorded career highs in the match; Kerek's 34 assists was the best of the freshman's career with Ashley Fahey's five kills and seven digs both counting as career highs for the rookie. Feeney also put together a career-high performance with seven kills.
Suffolk takes the seventh seed in the upcoming GNAC Volleyball tournament and is set for a rematch with Simmons on Halloween.