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Bryant held off by first-place RMU in NEC battle Friday

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Bryant University volleyball team took a set and pushed Robert Morris beyond 25 in two more, but the Bulldogs were held off Friday night by the Colonials at the UPMC Events Center.

Sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) led the Bulldogs with a season-high 17 kills on the night. Redshirt-junior Sydney Gorski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) added five blocks over the final two sets. Robert Morris, which improved to 21-3 in 2019, has the eighth-most wins in the nation through Friday.

Match Information
Robert Morris 3, Bryant 1 (24-26, 16-25, 25-18, 25-27)
Records: Bryant (14-14, 9-3), Robert Morris (21-3, 11-0)
Location: UPMC Events Center (Moon Township, Pa.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"Tonight was a hard-fought battle between two great teams. Erika covered so well and was a fire plug on defense. Sydney and Alysa were so aggressive at the net. We served aggressively and got them out of system frequently. Caroline was on fire all night and Alisi did a great job getting her the ball. We played them tough on their home court." 

How it Happened

  • Set 1 – Kills from freshman Alysa Wright (Wayne, Pa.), junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) and freshman Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.) put Bryant ahead 21-16, but Robert Morris surged back with an 8-1 run to force set point. Bryant would score the next two to tie the set at 24 before RMU closed it out with the next two.
  • Set 2 – Bryant scored the first five points of the frame before Robert Morris responded with an 11-1 run and controlled the set the rest of the way. Back-to-back kills from Kennedy brought the Bulldogs back within 20-14 before the Colonials pulled away.
  • Set 3 – The Colonials were within 11-10 before committing six consecutive attack errors to put the Bulldogs ahead by seven. Bryant led 22-13 in the set, and after five straight from RMU, got a block from Wright and freshman Maggie Ryan (Bethesda, Md.), an ace from Motu'apuaka and a kill from Kennedy to force a fourth set.
  • Set 4 – Bryant trailed 20-15 before scoring five of the next six, with two kills and an ace from freshman Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.), to pull within 21-20. A block from Gorski and James tied the set at 24 and the teams battled on before the Colonials took the set and match at 27-25.

Stats/Notes

  • Kennedy hit .289 while recording double-digit kills for the seventh time in 12 NEC matches.
  • James added a double-double of 13 kills and 13 digs.
  • McGovern chipped in with nine kills, 14 digs and two blocks.
  • Motu'apuaka collected 25 assists, nine digs and three aces.
  • Gorski was one of four Bulldogs to record three or more blocks on the night, joining Wright (4), James (3) and sophomore Jenna Knight (Scottsdale, Ariz.) (3).
  • Junior Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) recorded 16 digs to improve to 1,338 for her career, 35 back of Kristin Kingi for Bryant's Division I program record.
  • Bryant drops to 10-14 all-time against Robert Morris.
  • The Bulldogs' third-set victory was the first by a Robert Morris opponent in Moon Township since August 31.

Up Next
Bryant looks for a split of its weekend trip to Pennsylvania when the Bulldogs face Saint Francis U Saturday at 4 p.m. 

Tickets for the Nov. 8 Senior Night match vs. Long Island are available HERE.

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