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Bryant Hosts NEC Volleyball Tournament This Weekend

Photo Credits: DSPics
Photo Credits: DSPics

SMITHFIELD, R.I.- The Bryant women's volleyball team will host the Northeast Conference tournament for the first time this weekend. The top seeded Bulldogs will face fourth seed Saint Francis U in the semifinals on Friday, with the winner taking on either #2 Sacred Heart or #3 Long Island in Saturday's final.

 

Match Information

Game 1: #2 Sacred Heart vs. #3 LIU

Time: Friday, 3:30 pm

Watch: NEC Front Row / ESPN3

Live Stats: https://bit.ly/3CtJLla 

Game 2: #1 Bryant vs. #4 Saint Francis

Time: Friday, 6:00 pm

Watch: NEC Front RowESPN3 

Live Stats: https://bit.ly/30LIitr 

Game 3: NEC Championship

Time: Saturday, 3:00 pm

Watch: NEC Front Row / ESPN3

Live Stats: https://bit.ly/3CAhtFn 

 

Bulldog Notes and Notables

  • Bryant is hosting the NEC tournament for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs have previously won an NEC tournament title, defeating SHU in the 2018 championship. Seniors Caroline Kennedy, Haley O'Brien, and Jenna Knight all played in that championship game as well as Bryant's NCAA tournament game at Minnesota.

  • The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 20-10 overall record, clinching their third 20-win season at the Division I level. If they win both matches this weekend, they will equal the D-I program record of 22 wins in a season.

  • Riley James was named All-NEC first team for the first time in her career. She leads the Bulldogs and is top ten in the conference in kills (297, 2.68 per set). She has posted six double-doubles on the year as well.

  • Caroline Kennedy was named second team all conference for the third time in her career. She is second on the team in kills (283, 2.62 per set) and is hitting .224, the second best mark of her career.

  • Mia Cergol was also named to the second team, her first career All-NEC selection. She leads the Bulldogs with twelve double-doubles this season. She has posted double-digit assists in every match, and is third in the NEC in that category (964, 8.68 per set). She is also the conference leader in total service aces with 34, and is fourth with 0.31 aces per set.

  • Alysa Wright enters tournament play in the top five in the conference in blocks and hitting percentage. She leads the NEC with 112 total blocks, but is second in block rate at 1.02 per set. Wright is fifth in the conference in hitting at .287.

Scouting #4 Saint Francis

  • Record: 9-5 in NEC (13-13 overall)

  • Player to Watch: Senior outside hitter Madi Tyus was recently named the NEC Player of the Year. She leads the NEC in kills (427, 4.31 per set), and is second on the team in digs and third in aces. She is a three-time NEC player of the week this season as well.

  • The Bulldogs won both regular season meetings with the Red Flash. They took a 3-1 win in Smithfield on October 16, then swept the road matchup in Loretto on October 30.

Scouting #3 Long Island

  • Record: 10-4 in NEC (13-13 overall)

  • Player to Watch: Graduate student outside hitter Jovana Stekovic was named first team all-conference. She is third in the conference in kills (377, 3.97 per set) and leads the conference in total attacks. She is also the team leader and tenth in the NEC with 27 service aces. She is also a three-time NEC player of the week.

  • Bryant split their two matches with LIU this season, with the home team prevailing in both contests. Both schools went undefeated at home during conference play.

Scouting #2 Sacred Heart

  • Record: 11-3 in NEC (17-9 overall)

  • Player to Watch: Senior setter Sarah Ciszek was named NEC Setter of the Year. She is the conference leader in hitting percentage (.360) and is second in assists (852, 8.88 per set). Last year's conference player of the year, she has been named NEC player of the week five times this season, and is one of two players in the country with three triple-doubles.

  • The Bulldogs swept Sacred Heart in the conference opener back in September, but fell 3-1 last weekend in Fairfield. The loss snapped Bryant's season long nine game winning streak.