LORETTO, Pa. – Sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) notched 17 kills on a .394 hitting percentage and five Bulldogs recorded double-doubles as the Bryant University volleyball team improved to 10-3 in the NEC with a four-set win at Saint Francis U Saturday afternoon.
Junior Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) collected 22 digs and a career-high 15 assists, joining junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) and freshmen Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.), Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.) and Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.) with double-doubles Saturday.
Bryant 3, Saint Francis U 1 (25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16)
Records: Bryant (15-14, 10-3), Saint Francis U (3-21, 3-9)
Location: DeGol Arena (Loretto, Pa.)
Coach Garlacy's Comments
"The leadership and intensity of Erika Ward and Caroline Kennedy won this match for us tonight. Emma McGovern was also very aggressive in the front and back row. Maya Popernik was clutch in the fourth serving 10 straight points to start the set and another five-point run late in the set.
How it Happened
- Set 1 – Bryant opened the set with a 9-3 advantage and led by at least five the rest of the way. McGovern and sophomore Jenna Knight (Scottsdale, Ariz.) had four kills each in the opening set.
- Set 2 – The Red Flash was within one at 14-13 before the Bulldogs scored six straight points – with the help of three kills from James – to move ahead by seven. SFU would pull to within five on two occasions before two kills from James and one from Kennedy closed out the set.
- Set 3 – Back-to-back kills from McGovern gave Bryant an 8-2 cushion, but SFU would chip away and eventually force a fourth set with a 25-22 third.
- Set 4 – Bryant scored 10 consecutive points to open the set with sophomore Maya Popernik (Chicago, Ill.) serving and withstood a Red Flash effort to battle back in the set. Once SFU cut the set to 17-14, Bryant scored the next five – the majority with Popernik serving again – to build separation and close out the win at 25-16.
- Kennedy's 17 kills matched her season-high set Friday. The sophomore averaged 4.25 kills per set on a .338 hitting percentage this weekend.
- James added 13 kills and 10 digs, while McGovern chipped in with 11 and 10.
- Motu'apuaka recorded 24 assists and a season-high 15 digs.
- Cergol tallied 12 assists and a career-high 18 digs.
- Ward recorded 22 digs to improve to 1,362 for her career, 13 back of Kristin Kingi for Bryant's Division I program record and added a career-high 14 assists.
- Freshman Alysa Wright (Wayne, Pa.) collected four blocks and is averaging one block for each of her 34 NEC sets played.
- Senior Brianna Bruny (Biscayne Park, Fla.) and junior Mackenzie Wild (Rochester, Mich.) contributed in their first NEC matches of 2019 with Bruny recording three blocks and Wild collecting two.
- The Bulldogs utilized 14 of the 16 players on the roster in Saturday's victory.
- Bryant improves to 12-11 all-time against Saint Francis U.
- The Bulldogs have won at least 10 NEC matches in each of the last five seasons.
Bryant returns home Friday for a Senior Night match vs. Long Island. Tickets for the 6 p.m. contest are available HERE.