Story written and posted by Anthony Perry, Rivier University Sports Information Director
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The 2019 Rivier University Women's Volleyball season came to an end this afternoon in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship game to top seeded and #21 in the country, Johnson & Wales University in straight sets. The Raiders finish the season with an overall record of 24-8 while the Wildcats move on to the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 27-4.
It was the 15th appearance in the GNAC Championship game for the Raiders and ninth time in the past 10 seasons. Out of those 15 trips to the final game, the Raiders have captured six GNAC titles and have matched up with Johnson & Wales in nine of them.
Sophomore Sydney Racevicius (Woodbury, Conn.) led the offensive effort for Rivier as she totaled eight kills while senior Jess Whyte (Plymouth, Mass.) finished with seven kills. Sophomore Avery Pollard (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) dished out 18 assists on the afternoon and senior Taryn Higareda (Rosemead, Calif.) scooped up nine digs along the back line. Fellow senior Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) wrapped up her career with seven digs and two kills. Junior Julia Zargaj (Groveland, Mass.) contributed with two kills and two total blocks for the Raiders.
JWU was powered by Kate Walker, who complied 14 kills and a .700 hitting percentage. Kelly Delany chipped in with a 10-kill performance and Maria Coniglio added six kills. Brylee Frank handed out 32 assists and Elyssa Nicolas picked up 14 digs to lead the Wildcats to their fourth consecutive GNAC Championship.
After an incredible post-season run for the Raiders, both Whyte and Racevicius were selected to the GNAC All-Tournament team.
Johnson and Wales will await the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball selection show before finding out who they will match up with next in the field of 64.