SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University volleyball team was held off in five sets by LIU Brooklyn Friday night at the Chace Athletic Center, snapping the Bulldogs' seven-match NEC winning streak.
Senior Grace Richmeyer (DeSoto, Mo.) tallied 13 kills on an errorless .394 hitting percentage and matched her season-high with eight blocks. Senior Kristin Kingi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) collected a career-high 26 digs.
LIU Brooklyn 3, Bryant 2 (25-22, 27-29, 22-25, 29-27, 10-15)
Records: Bryant (20-11, 10-3); LIU Brooklyn (15-7, 12-1)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Coach Garlacy's Comments
"This was a great battle where we saw our middles step up and have a huge impact. Grace and Bri were outstanding on both sides of the ball. Kingi was key for us on defense with a career-high in digs. Sperry ran the offense smoothly and came up with a huge block and kill to send us into a fifth set."
How it Happened
- Set 1 – LIU led 4-1 before a 6-0 run with two blocks and a kill from Richmeyer gave the Bulldogs a 7-4 lead. The Blackbirds would use three blocks in a 6-0 run to go up 15-12 and went on to lead 21-18. Bryant answered with the next five points, including two kills from freshman Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), to go up 23-21. Kennedy forced set point on another kill and Bryant closed out a 25-22 decision in the first set.
- Set 2 – An 8-1 run put LIU up 15-7 before Bryant chipped away again, tying the set at 22 on kills from Kennedy and Kingi. A block from Richmeyer and redshirt-senior Julia Flynn (Pembroke, Mass.) gave the Bulldogs a 27-26 advantage before the Blackbirds took the final three points of the set.
- Set 3 – LIU went up 8-1 to begin the set but Bryant would bring it back within one point on three occasions. After a kill from freshman Jenna Knight (Scottsdale, Ariz.) made it 19-18, LIU was able to build some separation and close out a 25-22 third set.
- Set 4 – Bryant used an 8-1 run to build a 9-3 lead, but this time it was LIU that would keep pace and eventually take a two-point lead at 22-20. A kill from Kingi followed by back-to-back kills from Kennedy put Bryant ahead 23-22 and the teams would trade tallies from there. LIU led 27-26 before kills from Flynn and senior Kirstyn Sperry (Phoenix, Ariz.) gave the Bulldogs a one-point advantage. On the following serve, Flynn downed the ball inches inside the end line for a set-point ace and forced a fifth set.
- Set 5 – Neither team led by more than two points in a back-and-forth fifth set until LIU rattled off six straight points to turn an 8-8 tie into a 14-8 lead. Bryant fended off match point twice before the Blackbirds closed out a 15-10 win in the set and a five-set victory.
- Kennedy tallied a team-high 18 kills, good for her 22nd performance of 10 or more this season.
- Kingi recorded a double-double of 11 kills and 26 digs while recording two blocks. The senior moved within 46 digs of Bryant's Division I career record held by Debora Magalhaes.
- Richmeyer hit .394 (13-0-33) with seven blocks, including one solo.
- Flynn racked up 11 kills, 17 digs, five blocks and two aces.
- Sperry recorded 38 assists, while senior Julia Malet (San Rafael, Calif.) tallied 17.
- Junior Brianna Bruny (Biscayne Park, Fla.) gave the Bulldogs a spark off the bench with seven kills on a .353 hitting percentage along with five blocks.
- Sophomore Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) recorded 12 digs, moving her within 43 of 1,000 for her collegiate career.
- The Bulldogs hit .161 for the match, while the Blackbirds hit .156.
- Both teams recorded 14 blocks in the match.
- Bryant drops to 4-18 all-time against LIU Brooklyn and is defeated at home by the Blackbirds for the first time since 2014.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season at home Saturday at 6 p.m. when the Bulldogs host St. Francis Brooklyn on Senior Night. Bryant will honor Kristin Kingi, Kirstyn Sperry, Julia Flynn, Grace Richmeyer and Julia Malet prior to the match.