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Volleyball Falters In First GNAC Tri-Match Of 2021

Volleyball Falters In First GNAC Tri-Match Of 2021

NASHUA, N.H. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) volleyball team was swept by Simmons University (SIM) and Rivier University (RIV) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) road tri-match inside Muldoon Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.

In match one, the Sharks got out to a strong start taking the first set 25-14. USJ followed it up with a much-improved second frame, leading at the midway point, but Simmons came charging back hard to take a 25-21 second set. The Blue Jays kept their cool, but ultimately it was Simmons who made it out on top with a 25-15 third set, and 3-0 victory in the first GNAC match of the afternoon for USJ.

In match number two, the Raiders made the most of the visitors to take a convincing 25-15 first set. The same could be said for set two. In the third set, with the Blue Jays' backs against the wall down 10-1, USJ mounted a furious comeback behind strong play from senior captain and outside hitter Hannah Benson (Terryville, Conn.) and junior middle hitter Shannon Carey (Bayport, N.Y.). USJ chipped away at it and ended up tying it at 18-18, leading to a Raiders timeout. However, Rivier answered with a huge surge down the stretch to end the comeback in its tracks, taking the final set by six, 25-19, and the match, 3-0.

Score: Saint Joseph 0, Simmons 3
Set Scores: 14-25, 21-25, 15-25
Records: USJ 2-5 (0-2 GNAC), SIM 7-3 (1-1 GNAC)

Score: Saint Joseph 0, Rivier 3
Set Scores: 15-25, 15-25, 19-25
Records: USJ 2-6 (0-3 GNAC), RIV 4-4 (2-0 GNAC)

Location: Muldoon Gymnasium | Nashua, N.H.

COACH QUOTE [Sheila Gisbrecht] "We played strong defensively against two excellent offenses today. Julia MacKenzie was a huge contributor to that with nearly four digs per set and a 2.4 passer rating. If we can start to terminate more consistently with that defense to back us, we will become a tough squad to beat."


  • First of five GNAC tri-matches for USJ this season.
  • Benson's sixth and seventh game this season with at least five kills.
  • Sophomore setter Fernanda Ayala Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) had 10 of the 21 assists for USJ in game two.


1 – The Blue Jays have had their challenges against the likes of Simmons and Rivier. They have just one win total against their two GNAC counterparts since 2010 (1-21).

USJ will be back home for a non-conference match against Lesley on Thursday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the O'Connell Athletic Center.

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