Story written and posted by Anthony Perry, Rivier University Sports Information Director
NASHUA, N.H. – The Rivier University Women's Volleyball program honored their five outgoing seniors this morning before they swept both Albertus Magnus College and Emmanuel College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tri-Match inside the Muldoon Gymnasium. The wins round out the Raiders 2019 regular season with a 22-7 record, 10-2 mark against the conference and the overall #3 seeding in the upcoming conference tournament next week. The Falcons of Albertus Magnus drop to 9-21 overall and 2-10 in the GNAC while the Saints of Emmanuel College slide to 9-21 overall, 3-9 GNAC.
Prior to the start of the first contest, the Raiders held a short ceremony for the senior class participating in their final regular season home games. Seniors Taryn Higareda (Rosemead, Calif.), Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.), Sunny Foglia (Remsenburg, N.Y.), Jess Whyte (Plymouth, Mass.) and Sklya Insogna (Woburn, Mass.) were all recognized for their contributions to the program during their respective time in the Raider Blue and White.
Game One: Rivier University 3, Emmanuel College 0 (Final)
With the emotion of senior day behind them, the Raiders came out and swept visiting Emmanuel College in straight sets by scores of 25-16, 26-24 and 25-20.
Whyte led the team offensively with 14 kills and a .476 hitting percentage while also contributing defensively with three total blocks. Dunster added 12 kills and 9 digs in the opening match with sophomore Sydney Racevicius (Woodbury, Conn.) chipping in with six kills. Sophomore Avery Pollard (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) dished out 34 assists and Higareda scooped up 13 digs along the backline. Foglia provided additional help along the net as she hammered down three kills and recorded two total blocks in the win.
The Saints were guided by the efforts from sophomore Kelli Haigh (Woodbury, Conn.) and senior Marissa Cataldo (Melrose, Mass.), who each had the team high of six kills. Freshman setter Jalen Winfrey (Rochester, N.H.) handed out 15 assists and classmate Samantha Carrigan (Plaistow, N.H.) collected the team high of nine digs in the three set loss.
Game Two: Emmanuel College 3, Albertus Magnus College 0 (Final)
Battling back after dropping their first contest, the Saints stormed to a straight-set victory over Albertus Magnus College by scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-17.
Cataldo paced the offensive attack for Emmanuel as she led the team with seven kills while also collecting 14 digs. Sophomore Anna Caristi (North Attleboro, Mass.) and freshman Elizabeth Syverson (Huntington, Vt.) each added six kills in the win with freshman Rachel Coleman (Peabody, Mass.) totaling 14 assists. Also reaching the double-figure mark in assists was Winfrey, who finished with 11. Carrigan once again patrolled the backline as she picked up 23 digs and freshman Tatiana Correia (Peabody, Mass.) finished with 11 digs.
The Falcons saw freshman Diana Kalman (Naugatuck, Conn.) record the game-high of eight kills and both classmate Peyton Davis (North Haven, Conn.) and senior Jesselle Guzman (El Paso, Texas) hammer down six kills each. Sophomore setter Jaiden Williams (Orange, Conn.) finished with 21 assists and 11 digs. Four other members of the Albertus Magnus team reached double-figures in digs as Guzman led the way with 23. Kalman had 15, Davis with 13 and sophomore Maria Vazquez (Hamden, Conn.) registered 11 digs in the loss.
Game Three: Rivier University 3, Albertus Magnus College 0 (Final)
The Raiders ended the 2019 regular season with a three-set win over Albertus Magnus in the final match of the conference tri-match at the Muldoon Gymnasium. Rivier earned their 22nd win by set scores of 25-21, 25-10 and 25-15.
Junior Julia Zargaj (Groveland, Mass.) powered the team to victory with an 8-kill performance as Foglia finished her career with a seven kill game in the finale. Junior Allison Zagami (Milford, Mass.) and freshman Mia Harmon (Concord, N.H.) each added five kills for Rivier and fellow rookie Lydia Pray (Groton, Mass.) chipped in with four kills. Pollard directed the offense with 19 assists before giving way to junior Katherine Antczak (Salem, N.H.) who dished out 10 assists of her own. Freshman Olivia Garand (Litchfield, N.H.) led the backline effort with 23 digs and classmate Anna Campbell (Nashua, N.H.) also hit double-digits with 10 digs for Rivier. Freshman Emily Jennings (Killingworth, Conn.) and Nicole Lezon (Lincoln, R.I.) each registered block solos in the 3-0 win.
For Albertus Magnus, their season came to an end with Kalman once again leading the way with eight kills and 12 digs. Guzman led the team with 18 digs and Vazquez collected 14 digs and six kills for the Falcons. Williams guided the offensive output with 21 assists.
The 22 wins extend the Women's Volleyball program record to 15 consecutive seasons of 20 or more wins. It is also the 17th time in Head Coach Craig Kolek's 21 years that the program has eclipsed the 20 win mark. During his tenure on the Women's bench, Coach Kolek has a career record of 467-202 overall and 202-37 against the conference.
With their 10-2 GNAC record, the Raiders earned the overall #3 seed and will host #6 Norwich University (15-11 overall, 7-5 GNAC) on Tuesday night inside the Muldoon Gymnasium. Game time is set for 7pm. Here is a list of the tournament seeds and pairings:
GNAC QUARTERFINALS | NOV 5, 2019
#8 Lasell University (5-7) @ #1 Johnson and Wales University (12-0)
#7 Saint Joseph's College (5-7) @ #2 Simmons University (11-1)
#6 Norwich University (7-5) @ #3 Rivier University (10-2)
#5 Colby-Sawyer College (7-5) @ #4 Suffolk University (9-3)
GNAC SEMIFINALS | NOV 7, 2019
@ Two Highest Remaining Seeds
GNAC CHAMPIONSHIP | NOV 9, 2019
@ Highest Remaining Seed