Newton, MA— Lasell College, Pine Manor College, and St. Joseph's College of Maine met Saturday morning at the Lasell College Athletic Center for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match. All three teams split even on the day; St. Joseph's (8-4, 1-1 GNAC) winning the first match against Lasell, 3-2, Pine Manor (3-3, 1-1 GNAC) defeating the Monks, 3-2, in match number two, and the Lasers (3-5, 1-1 GNAC) triumphing over the Gators, 3-0, in the final match of the day.
In the opening match, Kiah Begley (Berwick, ME) served the first nine points of the game for visiting St. Joseph's who stole a 9-1 lead to open set one. The Monks first two points came from the outside by Sarah Coffey (Hanover, MA). Coffey first slammed a line-shot to the Lasers back right corner and then rolled a shot into the middle over the Lasers outside block. Lasell's Taylor Riley (Greencastle, PA) eventually broke up the Monks run hitting a cross court shot to get the side out for the hosts.
Lasell inched their way back into the game at the hand of Meghan Crozier (Ballston Spa, NY) who served the following five points bringing the score to 9-7. The Monks were defensively savvy, capitalizing on Lasell miscues to put distance between the teams. St. Joseph's went on a 10-2 run to take a double-digit lead which culminated on a double-block by Begley and Sarah Hawkes (Pownal, ME) on the outside. Lasell would score just two more points on side-outs before the Monks secured the first set, 25-11.
Lasell came back to win the second set, 25-23, with Danielle Drapeau (Biddeford, ME) and Eileen Barrett (Ludlow, MA) combining for six kills in the middle for the Lasers. Melanie Costa (Ludlow, MA) swarmed the back court for digs, collecting eight in the set, and Crozier dished out nine assists for the Laser win. Neither team took more than a few point lead in the set which evened the match at one-game apiece.
In the third set, the teams remained within a few points of each other through the midway point, with the Lasers' holding a slight 15-13 edge. At this point, the Lasers went on a five point run with Drapeau serving to take a 20-13 lead. A short corner attack by Jenna-Lynn Geary (Marion, MA) from the left side, and consecutive kills in the middle by Barrett on an overpass and then a slide, brought the Lasers to game point. Barrett rolled the set-point over St. Joseph's middle block to give Lasell a one-game advantage, 25-15.
Barrett tallied four kills in the third set and Costa duplicated her effort from the second set in the digs column. For the visitors, Brooke Dyer (Lebanon, ME) had a three-kill effort while Hawkes contributed with nine digs.
St. Joseph's came out on an 8-1 run in the fourth set, forcing the Lasers to take a time-out to regroup. The Lasers closed the gap to just two points before St. Joseph's ran away with a ten point victory, 25-15. Begley set up eight helpers and Coffey had a set-high four kills for the Monks.
In the deciding game, both teams played fairly even though the halfway point with St. Joseph's holding the narrow 8-6 edge. Lasell evened the score at eight-all with a Marissa Visocchi (Whitman, MA) service ace, but the Monks returned with a three-point run including another free ace point by Hawkes. Begley scored a service ace as the final point in favor of St. Joseph's, who took the set 15-10, and the match 3-2.
Hawkes, Coffey, and Begley all recorded double-doubles in the contest for the Monks. Hawkes dropped in ten kills and added 23 digs, Coffey notched 10 kills and 13 digs, and Begley distributed 42 assists and picked up 14 digs. Hawkes was also the match-leader in hitting percentage with a .304 clip. Dyer led all attackers with 13 kills and Caitlin Cleary (Scarborough, ME) chipped in with 16 digs.
For the Lasers, Costa grabbed a match-high 24 digs and Geary was close behind with 17 digs in the five set match. Crozier accompanied 30 assists with nine digs and Barrett and Drapeau shared a collective 22 kills.
In the second match of the day, Pine Manor took an 11-1 lead over St. Joseph's in the opening set. The Monks attempted to come back from the deficit but got no closer than eight as the Gators took a 25-18 final mark.
St. Joseph's returned in full force in the second set, coming out with an 8-3 edge before the Gators obtained control of the scoreboard to come from behind for a 25-21 win.
The third and fourth set both belonged to the Monks, 25-15 and 25-18. The final deciding game was celebrated by the Gators, 15-11. The hard fought five set match is the first GNAC win of the season for Pine Manor.
The final match of the day pitted Lasell against Pine Manor. Lasell took a 6-2 lead in the first set coordinating a strong offensive attack led by Drapeau with three kills in the first eight points.
The Gators changed the momentum when Alie Johnston (Winnipeg, MA) produced a cross court attack that brought the Gators within two points, 13-11, and a kill on an overpass in the following play brought the visitors to a one-point deficit. The Gators tied the score at 14-all taking advantage of Laser errors.
Johnston then brought the Gators ahead with a service ace that nailed the end line. The teams traded side-outs to waver between a tie game and a one-point game throughout the next points until Pine Manor took a 23-21 lead. After a side out, Crozier served two aces in a row to take the Lasers to game-point, 24-23, however, the teams continued to battle back-and-forth into extra points. After coming to a 27-all stalemate, Lasell reached 28-27 after a Pine Manor service error, and then secured the first set, 29-27, on a Gator ball-handling error.
Drapeau produced a .333 hitting percentage in the outing on five kills, one error, and 12 total attempts. Johnston was impressive for the Gators with eight kills and a .312 clip.
The see-saw continued in the second set, though Lasell never fell short of the Gators, they could not pick up a decided advantage through the double-digit mark. Lasell finally went ahead by four, 16-12, on consecutive kills by Barrett. Lasell then broke into the 20's with an outside attack by Sara Biondo (Coventry, RI) who utilized the blockers hands to earn a point. Biondo sealed the second set , 25-16, for Lasell with a razor to the opposite corner which just nicked the side line.
Barrett and Biondo each tallied four kills in the set and Costa dug up seven balls for the hosts. Johnston led the Gators in both kills (3) and digs (5).
Lasell remained on fire in the third set, coming out with a 14-1 early start with Crozier serving, picking up two aces along the way. The Lasers' 11th point was a huge outside double-block by Drapeau and Biondo, and the 12th was an assisted block by Drapeau and Lauren Short (Scarsdale, NY) on the right side. Imara Jackson (Malden, MA) eventually broke up the Lasers run with a kill down the middle to an open hole in Lasell's back court. A dump by Crozier on the second ball to an open gap in the Gators defense returned the side out to Lasell's possession, at 15-2.
Lasell maintained their composure through the remaining points of the game, earning a 25-6 set victory, sweeping the Gators 3-0 for the match.
Lasell finished their daily campaign with a 3-5 overall record and split at 1-1 in the GNAC. The Lasers will host Rhode Island College on Tuesday, September 21st in the Athletic Center. First serve will take place at 7:00 p.m.