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Bryant sweeps North Dakota in 2019 home opener

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University volleyball team opened its 2019 home slate with a sweep of North Dakota Friday evening in the Bulldogs' first match of the Hampton Inn-vitational.

Sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) collected a team-high 11 kills and freshman Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.) added a career-high 10. Junior Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) collected 13 digs.

Match Information
Bryant 3, North Dakota 0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-13)
Records: Bryant (1-4), North Dakota (3-3)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"Our right side attack dominated tonight with both Caroline and Jenna lighting it up. The setters ran a great pin-to-pin tempo which created a lot of seams for our hitters. The serving and defense of Erika were also key elements in the win."

How it Happened

  • Set 1 – North Dakota opened with a 9-4 advantage before Bryant scored the next six, with two kills and a block from McGovern, to go ahead 10-9. An ace would put the Fighting Hawks up 19-17 before a 7-1 Bryant run that included aces from freshmen Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) and Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.) brought the Bulldogs to set point. A kill from sophomore Jenna Knight (Scottsdale, Ariz.) clinched the set.
  • Set 2 – The Fighting Hawks were within 16-13 before the Bulldogs scored eight of the next 10 and closed out the set on a 14-6 run.
  • Set 3 – Bryant trailed 5-3 when Ward took the ball to serve after a Kennedy kill. A James kill and UND attack error followed to even the set at 5-5, and Ward followed with four consecutive aces to go ahead 9-5 before being iced by the North Dakota coach with a timeout a split-second before serving again. Bryant would lead the rest of the way.

Stats/Notes

  • Kennedy hit .588 (11-1-17) with a season-high 11 kills.
  • McGovern was in double digits in kills for the first time in her career and added seven digs.
  • Cergol contributed 14 assists and seven digs, while junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) added 17 assists.
  • Ward matched her career-high with four aces.
  • Bryant hit a season-best .333 in the match.
  • The Bulldogs' 11 aces were the most in a match since Bryant recorded 13 in a 2017 win over Syracuse on Long Island.
  • Bryant improves to 1-2 all-time against North Dakota. The teams met twice in the 2008 season, including at the National Transitions Challenge in Smithfield.
  • The win snaps a rare three-match home losing streak at the Chace Athletic Center. The Bulldogs are 45-9 (.833) at the Chace since the start of 2015 but dropped their final three home contests in 2018's championship season.

Up Next
Bryant will play two matches Saturday at the Hampton Inn-vitational, hosting Villanova at noon and Marist at 4 p.m. Tickets for Saturday are available HERE.

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