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Bryant opens Saturday with win over Central Michigan

Photo by Bryant Athletics
Photo by Bryant Athletics

CHICAGO – Freshman Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) continued her strong start to her first collegiate weekend and a trio of Bulldogs put up key blocking efforts in the Bryant University volleyball team's first win of 2018, a five-set comeback win over Central Michigan Saturday at the UIC Invitational.

Kennedy tallied 13 kills and 13 digs in her second collegiate match, while senior Kristin Kingi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) recorded 15 kills and 10 digs. Senior Grace Richmeyer (DeSoto, Mo.) tallied a match-high seven blocks and was one of three Bulldogs with five or more.

Match Information
Bryant 3, Central Michigan 2 (25-20, 22-25, 17-25, 25-22, 15-11)
Records: Bryant (1-1); Central Michigan (1-1)
Location: Flames Athletic Center (Chicago, Ill.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"The team showed great composure and trust coming back from down 2-1 and remained calm in pressure situations. The blocking of Grace and Kenny set the tone for the defense. Haley had a great first start playing both the opposite and middle and showed us a glimpse of her future. Seniors Kirstyn Sperry, Kristin Kingi and Grace Richmeyer kept things under control with their great leadership and, as always, Erika Ward was fierce defensively."

How it Happened

  • Set 1 – The opening frame was tied 4-4, but a 6-0 Bryant run put the Bulldogs in front for the rest of the set. Bryant capitalized on four Bulldog aces and five Chippewa service errors.
  • Set 2 – Central Michigan led 21-14 in the second set, but Bryant battled back to cut the deficit to 24-22 before the Chippewas closed out the set. Kingi had four kills in the set.
  • Set 3 – The Chippewas used a 13-3 run in the middle of the set, turning a 6-5 deficit into an 18-9 advantage, to wrangle control of the frame. Bryant would bring it back within six at 23-17 before Central Michigan closed out the 25-17 set for a 2-1 advantage.
  • Set 4 – Four Bryant blocks in the set – with sophomore Mackenzie Wild (Rochester, Mich.) in on all of them – proved the difference in a 25-22 set victory. Kennedy tallied four kills in the frame.
  • Set 5 – With the final set tied 8-8, the Bulldogs got three of their final seven points from Kennedy, who tallied two kills and an ace during the stretch to pull away for the 15-11 victory.

Stats/Notes                                                         

  • Kennedy recorded 13 kills and 13 digs for her first career double-double while adding three aces and two blocks.
  • Kingi's double-double of 15 kills and 10 digs was her first of 2018.
  • Senior Kirstyn Sperry (Phoenix, Ariz.) collected 39 assists, 11 digs, five kills and three aces.
  • Richmeyer tallied 10 kills and seven blocks.
  • Freshman Haley O'Brien (Milton, Mass.) posted nine kills and six blocks in her collegiate debut. Sophomore Mackenzie Wild (Rochester, Mich.) added five blocks for the Bulldogs, who had 11.5 as a team.
  • Sophomore Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) notched a match-high 21 digs, while sophomore Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) collected 16 digs and two aces.
  • Bryant had nine aces as a team. Central Michigan recorded one ace and 10 service errors.
  • The Bulldogs hit .091 as a team, while the Chippewas recorded a .179 mark.
  • Bryant improves to 1-0 all-time against Central Michigan and earned its first-ever win over a MAC opponent.

Up Next
Bryant closes out the UIC Invitational Saturday at 6 p.m. against Maryland Eastern Shore.

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