BEVERLY, MASS.- Eight talented programs battled it out on day one of the Endicott Women's Volleyball Invitational. UMass Boston, Williams, Gallaudet, Bowdoin, Plymouth State, Middlebury and Susquehanna all made the trip to campus to participate.
In the opening round of matches, the Gulls fought hard only to drop a tough match against Susquehanna. Endicott was able to take the opening set 25-22 before eventually dropping the next three by scores of 23-25, 23-25 and 13-25. The Gulls were led offensively by Callie Dolan who finished with 15 kills. Alleigh VandeMerkt continued her impressive start by contributing 22 assists while Carly Beers notched 14 of her own. Senior Falyn Torelli stepped up to record 16 digs in the match. Susquehanna was led by Emily Carson and Jess Holm finished with 15 & 12 kills as Julia Caruso and Morgan Whiteman finished with 17 & 16 assists respectively. Emily Carson also led the defense with 11 digs.
Other opening round matchups saw Bowdoin down Gallaudet by scores of 25-17, 21-25, 25-20 and 25-15. Freshman Christy Jewett was impressive in her rookie debut by contributing 11 kills in the victory. Junior Sophia Cornew recorded 31 assists while fellow junior Taylor Vail racked up 29 digs. Gallaudet saw Kali Frowick stand out with 10 kills and 16 digs as Jessica Israel contributed with eight of her own. Sarah Tubert recorded 28 assists as Ann Whited and Kate Fetzer each finished with 13 digs.
UMass Boston was able to squeak out a highly contested win over Middlebury 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-17). UMass Boston was led by standout Shannon Thompson as she tied for the highest kill total with 13. Corrine Porter recorded 13 kills of her own as Megan Pollock and Emma Rocha recorded 16 and 17 assists respectively. Kayla Wilson led the way with 22 digs. Amy Hart led Middlebury against the Beacons with 8 kills, which was one more than her teammates Meg Anderson and Megan Jarchow each finished with. Caitlin Barrett finished with 26 digs and Julia Gibbs recorded 23 assists in the loss.
Williams was able to knock off Plymouth state in the first match of the day for both teams. The match was a back and forth fight that went the full five sets. Set scores were 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 22-25 and 15-12. Emily Baratta led the way offensively for Williams with 15 kills as Claire Miller was close behind with 13 of her own. Ryan Farley and Amanda Schott teamed up for a combined 41 assists (24 & 17 respectively) while Emily O'Day was able to pick up 21 digs. Plymouth was led by Casey Stoodley, 12 kills, and Sam Clark, 11 kills. Kirsten Perrotta was able to amass 37 assists and Cassie Pelton dug 27 balls in the losing effort.
The second round of matches saw the competition stay hot as Endicott and Middlebury squared off in a battle that saw Endicott falter with a 2-0 lead. The Gulls took the first two sets by scores of 28-26 and 25-23 before losing the remaining three 25-14, 27-25 and 15-10. Callie Dolan once again led the way for Endicott with 18 kills as Mackenzie Guerre kicked in 10 of her own. Alleigh VandeMerkt and Carly Beers each notched 20+ assists as Beers finished with 21 and VandeMerkt with 22. The Gulls were led defensively by Ashley Norley who picked up an impressive 26 digs in the five sets. Middlebury was led by Amy Hart and Megan Jarchow. Hart recorded 17 kills as Jarchow recorded 14 of her own. Setter Julia Gibbs was impressive as she amasses 53 assists while Caitlin Barrett dug 26 Endicott attacks.
UMass Boston was again impressive as they handled Williams in three sets (25-23, 25-16, 25-17). The Beacons were once again led by Shannon Thompson up front as she recorded 11 kills. Megan Pollock and Emma Rocha each finished with 15 assists as Shannon Thompson and Kayla Wilson each recorded 11 digs. Williams was led by Emily Doll as she was able to contribute seven kills. Ryan Farley led in assists as she accumulated 17 and Emily O'Day led the defensive effort with five digs.
Bowdoin was able to come out on top in a close first set against Plymouth State before coming out on top in the match, 25-22, 25-18, 25-8. Casey Stoodley was the top offensive option for the Panthers again as she recorded 10 kills. Kristen Perrotta finished with 15 assists and Stoodley notched nine digs. Bowdoin was led by Ellie Brennan with 10 kills, Sophia Cornew with 26 assists and Taylor Vail with eight digs.
Gallaudette was able to knock off Susquehanna in 3 sets, 25-17, 25-17, 25-22. Susquehanna was led at the net by Emily Carson as she finished with eight kills. Julia Caruso and Morgan Whiteman each finished with seven asssits and Sarah Paluck racked up 10 digs in the loss.
The matches resume tomorrow in the MacDonald Gymnasium at 10 a.m. as Middlebury faces Plymouth State and UMass Boston faces Gallaudette. Host Endicott takes to the court at roughly 12 p.m. tomorrow in a highly anticipated matchup against Bowdoin.