October 12, 2008
BRYANT FALLS IN DAY TWO OF DIG FOR THE CURE CLASSIC, 3-0, TO SOUTH DAKOTA AND HOST SEATTLE UNIVERSITY; GLOVER NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
FRESHMAN MARIA SCOCCA
SEATTLE - The Bryant University volleyball team got a taste of the West Coast way of doing things during the Seattle University Dig for the Cure Classic, falling twice in Sunday's final day of competition, 3-0, to both the University of South Dakota and host Seattle University at the Connolly Center.
Despite tough play in all three weekend matches, Bryant couldn't convert against the West Coast style of its Dig for the Cure Classic opponents, dropping all three contests to a trio of fully funded NCAA Division I transitional teams. The weekend marked the first time all season the Bulldogs were shut out of a tournament.
In the first game, it looked as though the Bulldogs had no answer to a much bigger and faster South Dakota offense. But trailing 18-10, Bryant found what it needed to slip through the Coyotes' defense. Set off by an ace by sophomore setter Miranda Kolb (Holt, Mich.), the Bulldogs started a 13-4 run that saw Bryant take a 23-22 lead.
The streak was highlighted by three crucial kills from freshman Jazmin Stoner (Durango, Colo.) - from a great, heads-up play to put the ball over on first touch to a 50-50 win above the net - and capped off by a quick, first-touch redirection that went down for a point from junior Morgan Wood (Cedar Park, Texas).
But that would be the last point the Bulldogs would be able to muster in the first set, as South Dakota took the next three points for a 25-23 win and 1-0 edge in the match.
In the second game, Bryant kept it closer in the beginning, but the Coyotes began edging out as early as 9-7 and the Bulldogs couldn't plug the leak. Bryant would score just eight more points through the end of the set, falling, 25-15.
In a pivotal third set, the Bulldogs started out strong, with freshman Maria Scocca (Melrose, Mass.) getting the first three kills of the game for a 3-0 lead. A big block from Wood and Scocca gave Bryant a 6-4 advantage, but South Dakota managed to knot the set at 7-7.
The teams traded points until 11-11, when the Bulldogs caught fire, ripping out four-straight points to take a 14-11 lead, highlighted by two blocks and a kill from Scocca.
But the Bulldogs quickly gave up that lead and more, allowing South Dakota to nine-straight points for a 20-14 lead from which Bryant would never recover, dropping the final game and the match to the Coyotes, 25-20.
Andrews and Scocca each registered a team-high eight kills to lead Bryant, while Stoner and Wood recorded six apiece. Senior co-captain Delia Glover (Marston Mills, Mass.) collected 19 digs in the first match of the day.
In the tournament's closing contest, the Bulldogs meet up with host Seattle University, 2-0 so far in the Dig for the Cure Classic.
Bryant and the Redhawks traded points to open up game one, 5-5, before Seattle started to take hold of the set with a 5-1 run. After a few more traded points, the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 13-10, but Seattle continued to add to its lead bit by bit, eventually taking a 22-14 advantage.
The Bulldogs would stay the Redhawks' first attempt at set point, but couldn't hold them off for long, going down, 1-0, in the match with a 25-16 loss in set one.
The Bulldogs went down three early in the second, working their way back in to take a 10-9 lead after a 7-3 run. But Seattle came right back for a 16-12 edge as Bryant continued the late-set troubles that plagued it all weekend.
And while Bryant tried to kick the late-game mishaps - the Bulldogs scored five points to knot the score at 19-19 (highlighted by key kills from Wood, Andrews and Stoner) and drew within one at 24-23 - Bryant dropped a 25-23 heartbreaker to go down 0-2 in its final match of the weekend.
Down to its last opportunity for a win, the Bulldogs got off to a desperately slow start in the third set, digging themselves an early 9-0, then 15-3, hole.
But the Redhawks would make sure the Bulldogs went home without a victory with a 25-11 win to take the match, 3-0. The Bulldogs came within 10 points just twice in the final game, at 17-8 and 18-9, both off kills by Scocca.
Scocca and Stoner each registered seven kills in the game, a team-high, while Glover recorded game-high 14 digs and Kolb a match-best 23 assists.
Scocca led the three-match tournament for the Bulldogs in both kills and blocks, with 22 total kills and eight total blocks on the weekend.
Glover joined two other liberos on the Seattle Dig for the Cure all-tournament team for her 48 total tournament digs.
The Bulldogs' next match comes on Saturday, October 18, when Bryant returns to Smithfield, R.I. to host Northeast Conference opponent Long Island University at 5 p.m. at the Chace Athletic Center.