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NEC title defense begins with sweep of FDU

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

HACKENSACK, N.J. – A host of season-best performances and a nearly flawless night offensively from sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) helped the Bryant University volleyball team open Northeast Conference play with a sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson Friday evening.

Kennedy tallied 12 kills on a .611 hitting percentage (12-1-18). Freshman Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.)  collected a career-high 11 kills and redshirt-junior Sydney Gorski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) posted a season-best 10, while junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) and freshman Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) earned double-doubles, as Bryant began its NEC title defense with a road victory.

Match Information
Bryant 3, Fairleigh Dickinson 0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-21)
Records: Bryant (6-11, 1-0), Fairleigh Dickinson (0-14, 0-1)
Location: Rothman Center (Hackensack, N.J.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"Both setters had double-doubles tonight, ran a great offensive tempo and got the middles involved early. Our serve receive was on point and allowed us to spread the offense. Caroline hit nearly perfect and Erika led the way in digs." 

How it Happened

  • Set 1 – Bryant trailed 19-17 before a 5-1 run capped off by a pair of Gorski kills put Bryant in front 22-20. After the Bulldogs were called for a net violation to bring the Knights back within one, kills from Kennedy and McGovern made it 24-21 and Bryant closed out the set on another kill from Kennedy.
  • Set 2 – With the set tied at 15, Bryant collected four straight kills from the swings of Kennedy, sophomore Haley O'Brien (Milton, Mass.), McGovern and sophomore Jenna Knight (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to go ahead 19-15. Knight had three kills in the final seven points of Bryant's 25-21 in the second.
  • Set 3 – Five straight FDU points put the home team ahead 11-7 but Bryant would battle back to lead 20-18. The Bulldogs would surrender the next three before responding to score the final five points of the set and match, as Kennedy delivered three of the five kills and Gorski notched the winner at 25-21.

Stats/Notes

  • Kennedy hit .611 with 12 kills in the win. The sophomore has recorded a .468 hitting percentage over her last three matches.
  • Gorski hit .438 with 10 kills and added three blocks.
  • McGovern's 11 kills topped a 10-kill effort in the Sept. 6 win over North Dakota.
  • Freshman Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.) collected a career-high 15 digs and chipped in with seven kills.
  • Motu'apuaka recorded 25 assists, matching her career-high, while Cergol added a career-best 19. Both setters posted double-doubles with Motu'apuaka tallying 11 digs and Cergol collecting 10.
  • Junior Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) notched a season-high 18 digs and moved into fifth in Bryant's Division I era in career digs with 1,183. Ward is 15 back of Macy Mitravich for fourth entering Saturday.
  • Bryant improves to 18-8 all-time against Fairleigh Dickinson and 18-6 in the Bulldogs' D1 history.

Up Next
Bryant closes out the first weekend of NEC play Saturday at 4 p.m. at St. Francis Brooklyn. 

Tickets for Bryant's 2019 home contests, including the Bulldogs' next match at the Chace Athletic Center October 4 vs. Robert Morris, are available HERE.

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