NEWTON, Mass. -- The Mount Ida Mustangs welcomed the Monks of Saint Joseph's (Me.) and the Wildcats of Johnson & Wales (RI) to the Mustang Athletic Center for the final regular season games in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Mount Ida split the day's action, defeating the Monks 3-1 and falling to the 11th ranked Wildcats 3-0. Lone senior Mary Kate Reidy (Agawam, Mass.) was honored pregame for her four years of service to the Mustangs Volleyball team.
Game 1: Mount Ida 3, Saint Joseph's (Me.) 0
The Mustangs came out of the gate quickly to take the first set 25-21. Saint Joseph's College would bounce back to take the second set 25-17, but the Mustangs would find their offense again and go on to take the next two sets(25-22, 25-18), and the match 3-1.
Senior Mary Kate Reidy (Agawam, Mass.) paced everyone with 16 kills in the game to go along with 19 digs. Sophomore Alexis Bell (Salem, Conn.) was also very impressive in the game. She racked up a game-high 48 assists and 15 digs in the winning effort.
The Monks got a lot of their offense from senior Jordynne Copp (Cumberland, Maine), who led her team with 13 kills while converting over 57% of her attempts. Junior Jennelle Thompson (Farmington, N.H.) showed off her defensive skills and led both teams in digs with 25 on the match.
With the loss, the Monks drop to 14-16 on the year, and 5-6 in GNAC play. While the Mustangs move to 20-11 on the year, and 6-5 in GNAC action.
Game 3: Johnson & Wales (RI) 3, Mount Ida 0
The 11th ranked Johnson & Wales Wildcats capped off a terrific regular season taking down the Mustangs 3-0 in the final game of tri-match action. The Wildcats remain undefeated on the season at 29-0 and 11-0 atop the GNAC standings.
It's been over two years since Johnson & Wales has lost a conference match. JWU has won 26-straight conference games since a loss at Rivier on October 22, 2015. The Wildcats hit .361 as Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) – the nation's leading hitter – had a match-high eight kills while hitting .615. Tying Walker with eight winners was Bella Oldham (Irvine, Calif.) and she added nine digs to just miss a double-double. Nicolas led all players with 12 digs to help limit Mount Ida the Mount Ida attack. More than half of JWU's nine aces came from Nicolas and Oldham at two and three, respectively.
The Wildcats took the first set 25-12 off some impressive serving from Oldham. Mount Ida struggled to string together points to slow down the high-powered attack of the Wildcats. Second set action saw the Mustangs fall behind 10-0 behind the serving prowess of Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.). Mount Ida would rally after the early deficit, but were unable to overcome and dropped the set 25-14.
Johnson and Wales (RI) kept their attack rolling in the third and final set, downing the mustangs 25-8. For a Wildcats team that has only lost five sets all season, they continued to impress with a solid overall performance. Reidy and freshman Rachael Colombo (Wallkill, N.Y.) led the Mustangs with six kills apiece, while Alexis Bell (Salem, Conn.) added 19 assists.
Following the on-court action, playoff selections were released, with the Wildcats earning the top-overall seed. Virtue of a tie-breaker, the Mustangs hold the 8th overall seed and will travel to Johnson & Wales (RI) on Tuesday night for a 7:30pm start.
Game 2: Johnson & Wales (RI) 3, Saint Joseph's (Me.) 0
The Monks had the tough task of trying to rebound after their defeat to the Mustangs by taking on the 11th ranked Wildcats in the second game of tri-match action. Unfortunately for the Monks, much like the 27 previous Wildcats' opponents, were taken down by the terrific attack of Johnson & Wales (RI).
Setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) had the offense humming in the opener against Saint Joseph's. Four different players recorded five or more kills, topped by Maria Coniglio's (Old Bethpage, NY) match-high 12 kills. Led by middle blocker Hannah Dolan's (San Clemente, Calif.) .875 rate, the nation's top offensive team hit .414. JWU was just as good on defense, holding a 50-30 advantage in digs to limit the Monks to .062 hitting. Coniglio added 12 digs for a double-double. Rookie Elyssa Nicolas (Brisbane, Calif.) posted a team-high 13 digs
Saint Joseph's (Me.) was led by senior Jordynne Copp (Cumberland, Maine) with eight kills, while Sophia Randall (Epping, N.H.) chipped in with 15 assists. Jennelle Thompson (Farmington, N.H.) led all players with 16 digs.
Despite the two losses on the day, Saint Joseph's received the 6th seed for next week's playoff action. They will travel to Rivier on Tuesday for a 7:00pm start.
Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts, providing career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation in the social sciences, humanities and the arts, all developed and implemented to prepare our approximately 1,450 students for success. The College is comprised of the School of Applied Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Design and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, awarding associate, bachelor and master's degrees. www.mountida.edu