Pride advance to third-straight NECC title game

Pride advance to third-straight NECC title game

WESTON, Mass. – Top-seeded Regis College fought off No. 4 seed Daniel Webster College for a 3-0 victory in a New England Collegiate Conference Women's Volleyball Semifinal matchup on Friday night in Weston, Mass. The Pride used set scores of 25-5, 25-14, and 27-25 in the win over the Eagles.

Regis now advances to its third-straight NECC Championship game and improves to 23-8 on the year. The Pride will take on No. 3 Newbury College (17-10), who upset No. 2 seed Lesley University (16-5) in a thrilling 3-1 victory in the other Semifinal. Daniel Webster finishes its season at 7-16 overall.

The opening set of the night belonged to the Pride as they hit .409 during the game and cruised to a 25-5 victory. Gracie Molinari (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) posted three kills in the set, while Sam Bliss (Framingham, Mass.) and Nicole Connolly (San Mateo, Calif.) added two kills apiece.

Daniel Webster opened up with an early lead in game two, grabbing a 4-2 advantage following back-to-back service aces by Sarah Durocher (Keene, N.H.). The Pride answered with an 8-2 run, capped off by back-to-back kills from Gracie Molinari, prompting a Daniel Webster timeout. Regis continued the run and pushed the lead to 14-7 following a Nicole Connolly service ace.

The Eagles responded with three-straight points, including an Amanda Gendron (Mount Vernon, N.H.) kill and block, which made it a 14-10 deficit. As they had done earlier in the set, the Pride answered with another run, this time scoring seven-straight points to take a commanding 20-10 lead. The two teams traded points to end the game, with Regis hanging on for a 25-14 victory.

Game three started out much the same as DWC jumped out to an early 6-2 lead before the Pride scored eight straight points, capped off by a Marilia Ramos (Chimbote, Peru) ace, to make it a 10-6 lead and force an Eagles timeout. The Eagles hung around, and cut the lead to only 15-13 following a block by Sharline Polycarpe (Dorchester, Mass.) and Amanda Gendron, but the Pride scored five-straight, including a pair of Kristina del Rey (Miami, Fla.) kills, to stretch their lead to 20-13.

With their backs against the wall and trailing 22-14, Daniel Webster went on a 6-0 run to make it a two point game at 22-20, and later tied the match at 24-all on back-to-back aces from Courtney Sheyenne-Warrington (Canton, Texas).

After a Regis timeout, Amanda Gendron gave the visitor's a short-lived 25-24 lead, before the Pride closed out the match with three-straight points on kills by Sydney Trusty (Durham, Conn.), Connolly, and Molinari, to advance to their third consecutive NECC Championship match.

Gracie Molinari led all players with 13 kills on the night, while adding five digs. Nicole Connolly added nine of her own to go with five digs, three blocks, and three service aces. Marilia Ramos posted a match-high 13 digs, and added a pair of aces, while Tina Lathrop (Houston, Texas) dished out 36 assists on the night.

Daniel Webster was led by five kills from Amanda Gendron, while Sharline Polycarpe and Courtney Sheyenne-Warrington had three kills apiece. Madeline Roulier (Pittsfield, Mass.) added four kills and four digs. Maggie Belli (Miami, Fla.) and Nicole Beard (Shelton, Conn.) tied for the team-lead with nine digs each.