New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College women's volleyball team ended the 2016 season with a pair of losses on Saturday afternoon in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match featuring Johnson & Wales and Lasell at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.
The Wildcats (29-0, 11-0 GNAC) won both of their matches on the day, 3-0. In the final match of the day, the Lasers (12-18, 6-5 GNAC) topped the host Falcons (7-20, 0-11 GNAC), 3-0. Albertus Magnus finishes the year with three victories at home and four outside of the Elm City.
In the opener, Albertus Magnus battled before falling 25-20, 25-14 and 25-15 to Johnson & Wales. As a team, the hosts had 18 kills, 38 digs and five service aces. The Wildcats were dominant at the net, recording 37 kills and seven total blocks. JWU also took advantage of 17 Falcon attack errors and 10 AMC receiving errors.
Offensively, it was balanced attack for the visitors as three players recorded seven or more kills led by junior middle blocker Starsha Tunstall with 11. Sophomore outside hitter Nastasia Kapustin chipped in nine kills and freshman outside hitter Kim Reilly added seven of her own. JWU setter Brylee Frank did an excellent job distributing the ball and finished with 28 assists in the win.
For the Falcons, junior middle hitter Ana Gomez (New Haven, Conn.) recorded seven kills and freshman outside hitter Ashley David (West Islip, N.Y.) chipped in five of her own. In the middle, setters Jesselle Guzman (Santa Teresa, N.M.) and Marielis Muriel (New Haven, Conn.) combined for 17 assists. Defensively, freshman libero Nashalie Bayona (New Haven, Conn.) had a team-best 10 digs for the hosts, while Muriel and David registered eight and seven, respectively.
Lasell scored a 25-21, 25-20 and 25-23 victory against Albertus Magnus in the nightcap. The back and forth match saw several different lead changes in each frame. Down the stretch, the guests scored five of the final six points to escape with their sixth GNAC win of the autumn.
Freshman outside hitter Amanda DiLeonardo led the offensive charge for the Lasers with a match-high 12 kills to go along with a .222 attack percentage. Sophomore Olivia Addington and freshman Kelly Cappitella both contributed five kills apiece for Lasell in the win. In the middle, setter Taylor Tiezzi hada strong game and picked up 27 assists and nine digs. Defensively, libero Caitlyn Garcia was a force with a match-best 22 digs.
The three-headed Falcon attack was led by David with nine kills. Gomez chipped in seven digs and senior outside hitter Amber Cohens (Hamden, Conn.) had six. Guzman had one of her best games at setter, earning a double-double thanks to an 18-assist, 12-dig performance. On the defensive side of the ball, Bayona had another good game with a team-high 15 digs.
Prior to the first match of the day, Albertus Magnus honored the two members of the senior class for their contributions to the program. It marked the final collegiate action for Shanaya Bradley (Ansonia, Conn.) and Cohens as the Falcons did not qualify for the GNAC Tournament.