Sept. 9, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College volleyball team got off to a strong start in its title defense at the Eighth Annual Friar Classic, sweeping St. Francis (N.Y.) (25-17, 25-19, 25-18) behind the strong performance of senior captain Lauren Fletcher (Syracuse N.Y.). The Friars improve to 3-7, while the Terriers fall to 1-8.
Fletcher connected for seven kills in her first seven attempts, before finishing with 14 kills on 18 attempts and no errors, which works out to a .778 hitting percentage. She added a pair of blocks, including one solo block.
Classmate and fellow captain Carly Morrison (Gibsonia, Pa) was superb in setting up Fletcher and the rest of the Friar attack, recording 36 helpers as Providence hit .354 as a team. The attack also got a significant contribution from freshman Anna Russian (Round Rock, Texas), who notched eight kills.
Sophomore libero Cassie Muzzonigro (Gibsonia, Pa.), fresh off earning All-Tournament honors at the USF asics/Powerade Classic, led the defense with 17 digs. Sophomore Anne Powers (La Selva Beach, Calif.) contributed nine digs.
The Friars dominated the first set, 25-17, hitting .483 as a team (16 kills, two errors). While Fletcher dominated with seven kills on eight attempts, Providence spread the wealth as Russian, Morrison, freshman Colleen McCollom (Indian Head Park, Ill.) and freshman Mackenzie Ziegler (Portage, Wis.) each had a pair of kills.
The second set was a similar story, as Fletcher picked up five kills on six attempts for an .883 percentage. This time, it was another senior who contributed, as Shelagh Dolan (Westford, Mass.) notched four kills in the set, while Russian added another three and the Friars took the frame, 25-19.
The final set saw nine difference Friars record at least one kill. The only error in the frame was by Russian, who made up for it by notching kills on all three of her other attempts to lead the team in the set. The Terriers were unable to overcome nine errors, as Providence took the set, 25-18, and the match, 3-0.
The Friars have two matches remaining in the Eighth Annual Friar Classic. They get back to action on Saturday, September 10, when they take on Coppin State at 11:00 a.m. They then play the tournament finale against Lafayette at 5:00 p.m. The Eagles and Leopards played the opener on Friday night and got things started in dramatic fashion, as Lafayette rallied to take a five-set victory from Coppin State.