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Sweep of Marist earns Bryant 2-1 weekend showing

Meghan Murphy/UNH Athletics
Meghan Murphy/UNH Athletics

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – A Saturday evening sweep of Marist gave the Bryant University volleyball team a split of the final day of the Hampton Inn-vitational at the Chace Athletic Center.

Freshman Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.) recorded eight kills in each of Bryant's matches on the day, while freshman Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.) tallied eight kills against Villanova and seven in the win over Marist.

McGovern and redshirt-junior Sydney Gorski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) were named to the Hampton Inn-vitational All-Tournament Team.

Match Information
Villanova 3, Bryant 0 (21-25, 12-25, 22-25)
Bryant 3, Marist 0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-14)
Records: Bryant (2-5), Villanova (5-1), Marist (0-6)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"I'm so excited for Sydney Gorski to come off the bench and be a huge momentum changer. Both of our setters did a tremendous job setting the tempo and mixing the ball up. Our defense, led by Emma McGovern and Riley James, kept the ball off our floor. We continue to serve tough and keep the opponents out of system.

"It was a total team effort this weekend. The future of Bryant Volleyball is bright!"

How it Happened vs. Villanova

  • Set 1 – Four straight Bryant points, including two kills from James, put the Bulldogs ahead 7-6 in the opening set. Villanova would answer with a 7-2 run and lead by at least three the rest of the set.
  • Set 2 – The Wildcats opened the set on a run of 7-0 and 14-2 before the Bulldogs responded with the next four, thanks in part to a pair of blocks from sophomore Haley O'Brien (Milton, Mass.). Villanova answered with four of its own and cruised to the second-set victory.
  • Set 3 – The teams were tied at 10 before five straight Wildcat points turned momentum in Villanova's favor. Two kills from McGovern sandwiched around another from sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) got Bryant back within 20-19, but the Bulldogs were unable to pull even in a 25-22 deciding set.

How it Happened vs. Marist

  • Set 1 – Bryant scored four straight early with freshman Maggie Ryan (Bethesda, Md.) chipping in with a kill and two blocks. The Bulldogs incrementally built a 21-13 advantage before the Red Foxes struck for the next seven to cut the margin to 21-20. Bryant would score the final three points of the frame, including a set point kill from James.
  • Set 2 – An 8-4 lead for Marist was eliminated by a 13-3 Bryant run that included three kills by McGovern and two from O'Brien. The Red Foxes pulled within 20-18, prompting a Bryant timeout. The Bulldogs would score five of the final seven points in the set, capped off by a block from Gorski and sophomore Jenna Knight (Scottsdale, Ariz.) on set point.
  • Set 3 – A 10-0 Bryant run blew the third set open, as James contributed two aces and a kill to put the Bulldogs up 17-5. Marist scored five of the next six, but Bryant would steadily close out the set during a stretch in which junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) collected a pair of kills. Bryant hit .548 (19-2-31) in the third set.


  • James and McGovern led the Bulldogs with eight kills each in the Villanova match.
  • Motu'apuaka recorded 15 assists and five digs against the Wildcats.
  • O'Brien led the Bulldogs with nine kills vs. Marist, hitting .438 (9-2-16).
  • James had a career-high six aces against Marist. Bryant collected 2.67 aces per set as a team on the weekend.
  • Gorski hit .545 and added two blocks vs. Marist.
  • Ryan, Kennedy, Knight, O'Brien and James all added two blocks in the late match.
  • Freshman Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) notched 16 assists against the Red Foxes, while Motu'apuaka added 13.
  • The Bulldogs hit .330 against the Red Foxes, second only to Friday's .333 vs. North Dakota on the year.
  • The Saturday split moves the Bulldogs to 46-10 (.821) at the Chace Athletic Center since the start of 2015.
  • The Bulldogs drop to 0-1 in their history with the Wildcats.
  • Bryant improves to 2-4 all-time against Marist with victories in each of the last two seasons.
  • Saturday's matchup with Marist was the first against her former team for Bryant assistant coach and former Red Fox setter Taylor van der Biezen.

All-Tournament Team
Allie Olsonoski, Villanova (MVP)
Emma Decker, Villanova
Mallory Potts, Villanova
Sydney Gorski, Bryant
Emma McGovern, Bryant
Megan Fergus, Marist
Ashley Brueggeman, North Dakota 

Up Next
Bryant hosts Providence Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Chace Athletic Center. Tickets are available HERE.

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