BEVERLY, Mass. - The Endicott women's volleyball team went 2-0 on Saturday, taking down WPI 3-0 before knocking off regional power Tufts 3-2 in a five set thriller, behind a school-record performance from Emma Mancini (Lynnfield, Mass.), to improve to 14-9 on the season.
Mancini, who recently set the Endicott record with 27 kills in a match in the team's match against Plymouth State, broke her own record with her 29 kill performance against Tufts. Mancini finished the match with 29 kills and just seven errors on 60 swings as the junior outside hit an astounding .367 against the #2 ranked team in New England.
MATCH ONE: Endicott 3 WPI 0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-23)
The Gulls started off Saturday by sweeping the Engineers of WPI 3-0. Mancini and Alex Dippel (Fallston, Md.) paced the offense with 15 and 11 kills, respectively, as both outsides hit over .300 for the match. Zoey Gifford (Natick, Mass.) led an Endicott offense that finished the match hitting .272 after hitting .438 and .419 in the opening two sets. Gifford finished the sweep with 36 assists, nine digs and three kills as Endicott improved to 2-0 all-time against WPI.
Cydney Pierce (Carpinteria, Calif.) was outstanding defensively, leading all players with 17 digs in the win.
With the loss, WPI fell to 8-13 on the season.
MATCH TWO: Endicott 3 Tufts 2 (25-21, 25-16, 23-25, 26-28, 15-8)
Endicott finished their week off with a 3-2 upset of Tufts, who is receiving 21 votes towards the most recent AVCA DIII Top 25 poll. Mancini, who earlier in the day had eclipsed the 600 career-kill mark, led the Gulls with her 29 kills while also pitching in five digs and an ace. Gifford was once again a rock, guiding the offensive to a .236 average as she posted a career-best 52 assists to go with a match-high five aces, seven digs and three kills.
Pierce finished one dig shy of the match-high with 22, while also adding three assists and an ace.
Remi Quesnelle (Sunderland, Mass.) and Lauren Sheehan (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Sophomore defensive specialist Mackenzie Kennedy (Andover, Mass.) finished with 12 digs and three aces to help upset the Jumbos.
The loss to Endicott is the first regional loss of the season for Tufts, a team that fell to 14-5 with the setback.
Endicott, now 14-9 (5-1 CCC) is on the road for a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matches as the Gulls travel to UNE on Wednesday for a 7:00 p.m. start, and to Nichols on Saturday for an 11:00 a.m. start.