SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- The third seeded Endicott women's volleyball team saw their 2013 season come to a close on Saturday following a 3-0 loss to Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) rival and second seed Western New England. The close match, which saw the teams battle into extra points in the first and third sets, drops Endicott's record to 23-16 on the season, just one year after a 12-20 campaign. With a young nucleus of players returning in 2014, the future is bright for the Gulls.
The first set would see Endicott fall 26-24 in a tightly contested affair. The set would see both teams battle back and forth from beginning to end with no team holding more than a two point lead at any point. A block from Tori McIntyre (San Diego, Calif.) and Mackenzie Guerre (Carlsbad, Calif.) would give the Gulls a two point advantage at 23-21 in the first set before the Golden Bears would close to tie it at 23-23. A Guerre kill off an Alleigh VandeMerkt (Riverside, Ill.) assist would see the Gulls hold set point before Western New England would sandwich two kills around a block to close the set on a three point run to take it 26-24. Endicott would out hit Western New England .294 to .233 in the first but it was the host's advantage in kills 17-13 that would be the difference.
The second set would see the Golden Bears come out on fire as they would jump out to a quick 12-2 lead. From there, the hosts would never look back and would eventually take the set 25-13. Western New England would hit .321 in the set while holding Endicott's potent offense to a .094 average. The Gulls could only muster nine kills to the Golden Bears' 12. WNE's 12 kills came with just two errors on 28 attempts while Endicott's nine kills came with six errors on 32 attempts. The Gulls were able to close to within eight at 17-9 and 18-10 but could not hold off the impressive WNE offense down the stretch.
While the Gulls could have easily rolled over in the third set, the team would go down fighting as they have all season. WNE would jump out to a quick 8-2 lead behind three Endicott errors and two kills. The Bears would maintain that early six point cushion to guide them to a 17-12 advantage before the Gulls would mount a huge comeback. Endicott would score six of the next seven points to tie the set at 18-18, with four of the points coming off of Callie Dolan (Westford, Mass.) kills on four consecutive points. The two teams would trade points before a WNE attack error and Erika Trudon (Coventry, Conn.) ace would give Endicott the 22-20 advantage late in the set. An Endicott attack error and WNE kill would tie the score at 22-22 and force the Gulls to take their final timeout. The two teams would again trade points and a Mackenzie Guerre kill would stave off a match point to tie the set at 24-24 before the hosts would put down two straight kills to take the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.
The match closes a season that re-wrote many of the records in Endicott history. The Gulls were led offensively by senior Callie Dolan as the outside would record a match high 11 kills in her final match dawning the Blue and Green. Her 11 kills were accompanied by three digs and a solo block as her 11 kills see her finish her career with 1,096 kills, the sixth highest career total in Endicott career history. Her 407 kills on the season move her into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time Endicott single season rankings. Close behind her was middle Mackenzie Guerre with eight kills of her own and with that, finished the season with 389 kills, sixth on the single season list. Freshman Tori McIntyre would tally eight kills of her own to go along with five digs and two aces. Setter Alleigh VandeMerkt finishes her season with 1,333 assists, setting a new Endicott single-season record by 17 assists. Her 9.26 assist/set average is also good enough for fifth on the all-time single season list in the history books. Freshman libero Erika Trudon closed her season with a team high 10 digs in the match and 560 on the season which puts her seventh on the all-time single season performances.