BY ZACH MULLER (Game 1) and TYLER MILLIKEN (Game 2) // SEPT. 25, 2016 //
The Curry College women’s volleyball team took two wins out of two non-conference matches Saturday afternoon. Suffolk University and Pine Manor College traveled to Milton and left empty-handed.
Curry won its first match of the day against the Rams from Suffolk by a final score of 3-1. Junior Nicole Rice led the offensive strike with nine kills and senior Nicole Grambley backed her up with six of her own.
Classmate Alyssa Keeney kept the Rams on their heels with five service aces and held the defense together with six digs. In total, the Colonels tallied 20 kills and 16 digs throughout the match.
The victory pulled Curry back to a .500 record at 5-5, with a chance to be lifted over that mark with another win later in the day.
In the first set of the day, the Colonels won handily by a score of 25-16. The Rams picked up the second set, but could not put up another fight. Curry finished the final two sets to secure the victory.
Curry played with high energy throughout and cheered constantly, even at the slightest play. The positive energy really seemed to have an effect on their effort. They walked off the court for the first time of the day with smiles all-around.
The second match of the day saw the Pine Manor College Gators come to the court to take their shot at the Colonels. Curry was having none of it, however, completing an afternoon sweep with a 3-0 win.
It was an emphatic move over the .500 mark and the Colonels may be close to hitting their stride. However, it may not have seemed that way right off the bat.
Early miscommunication on the Curry side of the net led to a 12-6 deficit in the first set, and Rice was not happy. After the game, she noted, “We all know that if one us gets flat, then the rest of us will get flat, and that’s how you lose games. We want to win.”
That determination helped spark a run toward the end of the set when the Colonels rattled off seven straight points to make the final score 25-22.
It quickly became visible heading into the second set that Pine Manor was feeling flat. After blowing a huge lead in the set before, they were never able to regain their mojo.
The first handful of points were going both ways thanks to Curry’s aggressive play, but also to a few errant serves. Coach Elizabeth Morris quickly refocused her team, which responded with a 9-0 run on its way to a 25-12 win.
Keeney played a huge part in this run while making a serious impact with both her play and leadership. She finished the match with 19 kills, which tied the team-high with Rice. Keeney also collected 14 assists, trailing only Makayla Hughes’ 20 for the team lead.
The final set was similar to the first, and the Gators seemed to be taking advantage of the time Rice was on the bench, taking a 16-12 lead.
However, junior Courtney Carroll was able to limit the damage, thanks to her team-leading 12 digs. Once Rice returned, the Colonels battled back to tie and eventually win the set 25-23.
Freshman Erica Costa scored the final point of the game while showing some real resilience after seeming a bit frustrated with her play early on. It showed some real character, which this entire team seems to be full of.
Cold streak gone hot?: Before the victories today the Colonels had lost three in a row. Now with two straight wins, it could be the start of a new streak.
Dig, Carroll, Dig!: After the tournament, Courtney Carroll has now racked up 163 digs on the season, fourth-best in the entire conference. Her 4.66 digs per game, however, earns her the second-best mark in the conference.
Road Warriors: After Saturday’s matches, the Colonels face a test of three straight road trips, beginning and ending with conference matchups at the University of New England and Endicott College, sandwiched with another tournament at Salem State University with Worcester Polytechnic Institute.