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Blazers Beat Blue Jays In Volleyball GNAC Opener

Blazers Beat Blue Jays In Volleyball GNAC Opener

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) volleyball team was overwhelmed by the high-octane play of the Blazers of Elms College (EC), who defeated the Blue Jays 3-0 in their Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener, inside the O'Connell Center Wednesday night.

It was set to be a battle for outside-hitter supremacy, as senior captain and outside hitter Hannah Benson (Terryville, Conn.) of USJ went head-to-head with senior Alanys Cruz Diaz (Puerto Rico) of EC. Benson entered Wednesday's match third in the GNAC in kills per set (3.40 KPS) and fifth in total kills (51), while Cruz Diaz was the conference leader in KPS (4.06) and is second in total kills (65). Cruz Diaz got the better of Benson tonight with a 13-3 kills advantage in the match.

The Blazers as a whole were relentless near the net, doubling up the Blue Jays with 34 kills. USJ Head Coach Sheila Gisbrecht was facing her former team for the very first time. She called several timeouts in an effort to get things going, but USJ was unable to recover.

Score: Saint Joseph 0, Elms 3
Set Scores: 14-25, 14-25, 9-25
Records: USJ 2-3 (0-1 GNAC), Elms 5-3 (2-1 GNAC)
Location: O'Connell Center | West Hartford, Conn.


  • Elms has extended its winning streak to four straight.
  • The Blazers entered the match second in the GNAC in service aces (57). They had 11 on the night to just three for USJ.
  • First time failing to score double-digits in a set since October 2019.
  • Junior middle hitter Shannon Carey (Bayport, N.Y.) had a strong game in the middle for the Blue Jays, leading the way with six kills.


5 – The Blue Jays have not beaten the Blazers in five years (since 2016) following a 3-0 shutout in the O'Connell Center.

USJ will begin its three-match road trip with a visit to intrastate opponent Western Connecticut State on Wednesday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. It will mark the third-to-last non-conference match for the Blue Jays before a heavy slate of GNAC play kicks in.

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