WALTHAM, Mass.- The women's volleyball team finished regular season play on Saturday by splitting their two matches to reach the 20 win plateau for the first time since 2010. The Gulls finish their 2013 regular season with a 20-14 (6-2) mark on the season and enter the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tournament as the #3 seed. Endicott will play host to #6 Eastern Nazarene Tuesday at 7 p.m.
MATCH ONE: Endicott 3 Brandeis 0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-18)
Facing the Judges who entered the match 14-3 all-time against the Gulls, Endicott used a balanced offensive attack and dominant blocking performance at the net to sweep Brandeis 3-0 for their first victory over the Judges since 2005. The Gulls out-hit the Judges .203 to .104 while they also held an astounding edge in blocks 12 to 2. Endicott kept and maintained leads in both the first and third sets while they staged a comeback for the ages in the second. Brandeis used a 14-2 run to jump out to a 17-6 lead which forced head coach Tim Byram to burn his second time out. With a message of, "Let's make a few changes to start playing our game again and get some momentum built," the women responded with an 18-7 run to complete unlikely the 26-24 comeback.
Callie Dolan (Westford, Mass.) paced the Endicott attack as she recorded a match high 14 kills on 36 attempts. Her 14 kills came with only three errors to lead the match with a .306 average. Dolan posted a double-double on the day as she also picked up 11 digs, good enough for third on the team. The outsides's defensive effort also was evident at the net as she finished second on the team with three total blocks (one solo, two assist) to finish with a match high 16.0 points.
Also playing well for Endicott was freshman Hayley Knapp (Valencia, Calif.). The middle connected for five kills on 17 error-less swings for a .294 clip while she led the team in blocks with six (two solo, four assist). The six total blocks set a new career high for Knapp. Alleigh VandeMerkt (Riverside, Ill.) also had a match high of her own as she led both squads with 32 assists in the three set sweep. Erika Trudon (Coventry, Conn.) and Tori McIntyre (San Diego, Calif.) both impressed defensively as they registered 20 and 13 digs respectively. McIntyre's 13 digs were accompanied by eight kills and two aces while Lexi Watts (San Diego, Calif.) led the team with three aces.
MATCH TWO: Conn. College 3 Endicott 0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-17)
The Gulls, coming off of their match against Brandeis and having a short break, fell to Connecticut College in three, a team that they had beaten in five earlier in the season. Conn. flipped the script on the Gulls from their match against Brandeis as the Camels were the one that put forth a solid offensive effort while also using a consistent defensive effort to hold the Endicott offense in check.
Conn. College hit .196 on the day while holding the Gulls to a .062 average. The Camels' edge came on the defensive end where they out-dug Endicott 48 to 36. Conn. also used four solo blocks to set the tone at the net.
Dolan again led the Endicott offense as she put forth a 10-3-23 line, good enough for a .304 clip. Both the 10 kills and .304 average led the Gulls. Mackenzie Guerre (Carlsbad, Calif.) was second in both as the sophomore middle registered six kills while hitting .294. Dolan and Guerre both tied with one solo and one assist block, second only to Knapp's three assist. VandeMerkt again paced the Endicott offense as the registered 23 assists. Trudon and McIntyre again led the defensive effort as Trudon tallied 10 digs while McIntyre finished with seven.
Endicott now has a quick turn around as they start their push for the CCC Championship on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Gulls play host to Eastern Nazarene in the #3 - #6 matchup in CCC Quarterfinal action. The winner of this matchup plays into the #2 seed Salve Regina on Thursday night.