NEWPORT, R.I.- On Wednesday night in Newport, something had to give. Both Endicott and Salve Regina entered their Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's volleyball matchup with undefeated conference records as the Gulls stood at 5-0 and the Seahawks at 3-0. Salve would ride a match high 20 kills and .319 attack percentage to edge Endicott 3-1 to remain perfect in CCC play. With the win, Salve improves to 18-1 (4-0) while Endicott falls to 12-10 (5-1).
With both offenses struggling out of the gate, Endicott would collect the first set win behind a 25-22 score. The Gulls would find themselves behind 11-13 before rallying in the first. Four straight points would see Endicott jump out to a 15-13 lead behind a three point service run from Erika Trudon (Coventry, Conn.) and a kill by Jackie Cone (Salem, N.H.). After trading points with the Seahawks, the Gulls would widen the gap to 20-14 behind a five point run from Lexi Watts (San Diego, Calif.) that included two more Cone kills. Salve was able to close the margin late before Endicott would close it out 25-22.
Set two saw both teams rebound offensively as Endicott recorded 14 kills while Salve notched 19. The set was essentially tied the entire way with the score being knotted at 19, 20, 21 and 22 before Salve would run off three consecutive points to take the second by the same 25-22 score as the first to tie the match a one set a piece. A kill by Duggan and two strong serves left the Seahawks with the win.
The third and fourth sets saw Salve continue their second set offensive improvement and would see the Seahawks take both sets by scores of 25-19 to give Salve the four set victory. For the match, Salve would hit .205 while Endicott could muster just an .098 clip. Endicott actually would tally more kills than Salve, 52 to 47, and aces, nine to four, but Salve's defensive effort would prove to be the difference as the Seahawks recorded 77 digs to the Gulls' 71 and 10 blocks to Endicott's six. Both teams would pick up 45 assists in the match.
Endicott was led by sophomore Jackie Cone who had a career high 18 kills on the night. Cone's kills came on 52 attempts with a .250 average while also chipping in with six digs on defense. Just behind her was freshman Tori McIntyre (San Diego, Calif.) who finished with 14 kills and eight digs. Sophomore Alleigh VandeMerkt (Riverside, Ill.) finished with 42 assists in the four sets while also notching seven digs and two assist blocks. Freshman libero Erika Trudon continued to impress defensively as she led the team with 17 digs. Her digs were accompanied by four aces which also led the team. Jessica Petrucci (Cape Coral, Fla.) also continued to play solid defense as she picked up 12 digs of her own.
As previously mentioned, Salve was led by Duggan's 20 kills on the night and her .319 average. She also chipped in with 14 digs on the night. Leading the defensive effort for the Seahawks was Clare Adams as she recorded a match high 20 digs. Emily Lipinski was a force at the net as she dominated with one solo block and eight assist blocks.
The Gulls are now off until Saturday when they travel to the city to compete in the UMass Boston Invitational. Endicott will play the hosts at noon before squaring off against old school rival Colby-Sawyer at 2 p.m.