Champions! Women's Volleyball Usurps #1 Rivier For Second GNAC Title
NASHUA, N.H. – A dominant showcase of talent was in store for the Emerson Women's Volleyball Team Sunday as they collected the program's second GNAC Championship with a perfect sweep of the #1-ranked Rivier Raiders. With the 25-23, 25-19 and 26-24 win Emerson moves to 19-10 on the year as well as earning an automatic NCAA bid.
Set one saw Juliana Tucker take the reigns on the floor with 11 assists in the set as she led the Lions to a .303 attack percentage. Giuli Frendak and Alyssa Thorne both put up four kills each in the set to lead EC. Rivier battled back though with a .417 average as Kenna Finlayson swung .571 for eight kills as the Raiders forced 10 tie scores and six lead changes. In the end it was Emerson's serving that made the difference though as four aces gave EC a 25-23 win.
Set two saw the Lions dominate the court more with 12 more assists from GNAC Tourney MVP, Juliana Tucker. With five kills each, Kat Rice and Alyssa Thorne led the Lions who hit .257 in the set. While the Raiders tried to battle back, the effort was thwarted by Emerson's defense, who put up three blocks and 21 digs in the set to stifle Rivier's offense as EC won 25-19.
The third set was a thriller that would roll into extra points to decide it, this time as both teams battled off five tie scores and two lead changes. In the set, three Lions all floored four each for a .194 team attack percentage.
It looked grim for EC as Rivier battled back to a 24-23 lead in the set, until a swing by Giuli Frendak tied it up at 24. An attack error by Kenna Finlayson gave the Lions the edge before a service ace by Jamie Morgan awarded the Lions their second GNAC title, first since 2009.
For the Lions, Kat Rice and Jamie Morgan were named to the GNAC All-Tournament Team as Juliana Tucker took home MVP honors. The Lions now await to hear who they'll face first in NCAA Tournament play. The field will be announced tomorrow at 11 a.m. by the NCAA.