SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University volleyball team aims to clinch a spot in the Northeast Conference tournament when the Bulldogs host Long Island Friday for Senior Night.
A Bryant victory over Long Island would earn the Bulldogs a place in the NEC semifinals for the fifth-consecutive season. The Bulldogs will honor their two graduating seniors, Brianna Bruny (Biscayne Park, Fla.) and Nicole Kim (River Edge, N.J.), prior to the match.
Opponent: Long Island
Match Time: Friday – 6 p.m.
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Watch: NEC Front Row
Live Stats: Presto Sports
All-Time Series: Long Island leads, 18-5
LAST TIME OUT: BRYANT 3, SAINT FRANCIS U 1
Five Bulldogs recorded double-doubles and sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) matched her season-high with 17 kills in a four-set victory in Loretto Saturday to move the Bulldogs to 10-3 in the NEC.
ABOUT THE SHARKS
Long Island is 8-16 on the year and fifth in the NEC at 7-5 in conference matches. A Saturday sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson snapped a four-match losing streak for LIU that began when Bryant collected a four-set win in Brooklyn Oct. 19.
Kora Schaberl leads LIU with 3.82 kills per set, while freshman Karolina Nova has collected 3.13 kills and 2.45 digs per set. The Sharks have recorded 1.52 blocks per set this season while surrendering 2.21.
NEW MONTH, SAME CAROLINE
Kennedy hit .356 with 2.77 kills per set in nine October matches with hitting percentages of .571, .400 and .733 in the first three contests of the month. The sophomore opened November with 4.75 kills per set last weekend in Pennsylvania, collecting 17 in both matches.
Five Bulldogs – juniors Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) and freshmen Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.), Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.) and Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.) – earned double-doubles in Saturday's win at Saint Francis U. Ward recorded a career-high 15 assists and Cergol added a career-best 18 digs in the victory.
Bryant has received 47.8 percent of its kills in 2019 from its freshman class with that number rising to 53.1 percent in NEC play. James has notched 2.98 kills per set in conference matches and McGovern has added 2.50.
Freshman Alysa Wright (Wayne, Pa.) has emerged as a presence in the middle over Bryant's last eight matches, averaging 1.69 kills and 1.10 blocks per set. Wright collected a career-high 11 kills in the win over Central Connecticut and a career-best eight blocks in the victory at Long Island.
Ward brought her career dig total to 1,362 with 38 in the weekend's two matches. The junior from Michigan enters Friday 13 back of Kristin Kingi's program record.
HITTING A HIGH NOTE
Bryant's .427 hitting percentage in the Oct. 4 sweep of Saint Francis U was its third-highest mark in the program's Division I era and best since 2008.
UP NEXT: CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
Bryant will play its final two regular season matches on the road in the Nutmeg State. Next weekend opens with a 7 p.m. Friday match at Central Connecticut.