Women’s Volleyball Honors Seniors

BY JASON POMBO // OCT. 28, 2016 //

A trio of senior Colonels played their last regular season game in the confines of the Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz Gymnasium Thursday night, as they hosted non-conference Framingham State.

Alyssa Keeney, from Coventry Conn., Makayla Hughes, originally from Franklin, N.H., and Nicole Grambley of North Attleboro, Mass. were all honored pre-game with a framed jersey and flowers.

 

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Alyssa Keeney (6) with her family Photo by Jason Pombo

After the ceremony, the Rams went right to business, jumping out to an 8-3 lead. Another senior, Alyssa Rackliffe, provided the early spark for Framingham on her way to a game-high 43 total attacks. Sophomore Grace Stafford tried to mount a late comeback for Curry but fell short with the first set finishing 25-17.

 

The second set was different, with both teams trading points for the majority of it. The teams battled to continuous deadlocks until the Rams got ahead 20-18, only for the Colonels to come back and tie it at 24 before Framingham got the chance to end the set. However, the Rams managed to get those last two points, and took a 2-0 lead.

The final set was again Rackliffe-filled with little resistance and she led Framingham to a quick 18-8 lead. They never looked back from there and finished off the match with a 25-13 victory.

It was a somber ending to the regular season for Curry but it’s not all bad as they still have a chance in the CCC tournament. The tournament seeds are still undetermined as most of the conference still has to play one more conference game.

 

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The Colonels decorated the Katz Gym for their Seniors Photo by Jason Pombo

Despite having more to play, looking ahead, the Colonels are very excited to grow with their core players. Possibly one of those players is freshman Shea Matthews.

 

Although she is sad to see the seniors go, she noted, “We have a lot of good returning players, and we work really well together, and we will continue to improve.”

Assisting Alyssa: As one of the Captains of the 2016 Colonels, Alyssa Keeney racked up 423 assists to lead the team, with her 5.79 assists/set giving her the seventh-best mark in the conference.

Elder Killer: Nicole Grambley led the seniors with 156 kills, second on the team only to Grace Stafford’s 199. Her 2.14 kills/set will be missed alongside her vocal leadership on the court.

A Jack of All Trades: Makayla Hughes contributed across the board in her final campaign, finishing with 143 assists and 69 digs while also registering five kills (as a setter) and 16 service aces while accounting for 21 points.

Women’s Volleyball’s comeback attempt falls short against Wentworth

BY JAMES DEZIEL // Oct. 21, 2016 //

The conference rival Wentworth Leopards escaped with a win over the Curry College Colonels to increase their winning streak to eight games, and solidify their top-three spot in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

The Colonels struggled early on, with communication failure being a critical factor in their loss.  The Leopards took advantage and handily won the first set by a score of 25-10.  Wentworth Freshman Leah Rogoz scored a great attack during the set to help contribute to her 19 kills (the most by any player all game).

Curry’s comeback wouldn’t begin to take form until later, as its communication woes would continue to hinder its success.  One missed opportunity was because of a ball sailing too high and hitting a suspended basketball net.  This would result in a point for the Leopards and they would go on to win that set, 25-18.

After the second straight loss, the Colonels rallied together and played much tighter.  Their messages were finally getting across, and they led a strong offensive effort.  However, Wentworth wasn’t going down without a fight.  They continued to keep us on our toes until sophomore Grace Stafford scored the set-winning point.  Curry won by a 28-26 score, but their fight was not over yet.

The Colonels continued to eradicate their earlier communication mishaps and led yet another strong offensive effort down two sets to one. Both teams began to play their best volleyball, but Curry maintained a slight edge and squeezed out a win to tie the match with a 25-23 score.

The fifth set, which is only played until 15 points, would be the best of the night.  Freshman Shea Matthew’s service ace would be just one highlight amongst many shining offensive plays from the Colonels.  However, after taking a 13-12 lead, Curry let up a three-point run and with that, the Leopards escaped the Eleanor M. Katz Gymnasium with the win.

The fifth set was not without its drama, though.  About halfway through, a referee would stop the game to speak with the Curry coaches.  From the bleachers, while you couldn’t hear what was said, you could tell there was a disagreement from Elizabeth Morris, Curry’s head coach.

When asked about the strange occurrence, Morris said that “the rotation was off and we were off the rotation by one spot.  They didn’t pick it up on the bench until after.  And so they needed time to correct it.”  That’s not an excuse for the loss, she said, though.  When asked if that affected the outcome of the game, she quickly denied it.

Over-Kill: In the extended match, four players recorded double-digit kills, with Stafford the only Colonel to register more than ten, with 17 total.

Can You Dig It?: With her 12 digs, junior Courtney Carroll has now racked up over 300 digs on the season, the fifth-most in the CCC.

Homecoming: The Colonels will return to action Saturday at noon as a part of Homecoming weekend on the campus of Curry College. Following the volleyball match, Football plays Maine Maritime Academy at 1 and Men’s Soccer plays Gordon College at 5:30.

Women’s Volleyball rolls through St. Joseph (Conn.)

BY JASON POMBO // Oct. 19, 2016 //

The women’s volleyball team dominated non-conference St. Joseph University with a decisive sweep. The Colonels improved to 9-10, while the Blue Jays fell to 10-12.

St. Joe’s began the first set with a 2-0 lead, but it was all downhill from there. Curry soon after went on a 4-0 run led by sophomore Grace Stafford. Stafford made her presence known, and was difficult to stop.

The Blue Jays made it interesting mid-way through the set when they took a 13-12 lead. The Colonels answered the attack and soon took a 22-16 lead. This stretch was dominated by junior Nicole Rice. She led Curry with 5 blocks and they began to pull away and eventually won the first set by a score of 25-17.

Similar to the first set, St. Joe’s jumped out to an early lead. They started the set with an 8-5 advantage, thanks in part to junior Hannah Lemek, who ended the game with nine total kills, a Blue Jay’s best. Senior Cassandra Grimaldi also gave the Colonels some trouble as she tallied up seven kills, and gave St. Joe’s a 15-12 lead midway through the middle set.

Once again, Rice soon took over the set and swung the momentum back on Curry’s side. Senior Makayla Hughs provided a few great serves to take the lead 23-21. The Colonels held on to win the set by a 25-22 score, thanks to a late ace by senior Nicole Grambley.

The third set was very streaky by both sides. Curry started the set on fire, jumping out to a 7-1 lead. They looked like they would soon cruise to an easy victory. The Blue Jays soon fought back, clawing to stay afloat. They went on a 6-0 run to tie the set at 7, and the cruise was delayed.

The Colonels soon regained the lead with stellar defensive kills and jumped out in front of St. Joe’s 18-11. Freshman Caroline Kilduff provided a spark during the run with a pair of kills; eventually putting the deficit too far out of reach for St. Joe’s, making the final score 25-17.

After the game, head coach Elizabeth Morris was very proud of her team’s progress over the last few games. She noted that “They were playing together, and the communication was much better.”

Changing of the Winds: The Colonels have now won their third game out of their last four tries after going on a four-game skid.

Grace the Great: Grace Stafford led the game finishing with 14 kills on 30 total attacks. That helped solidify her mark in the conference as she now sits eighth overall, averaging 2.82 kills per set.

Conference Clash: Curry returns to action Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Eleanor M. Katz Gymnasium, as they host conference powerhouse Wentworth Institute of Technology. They lead the conference with a 20-3 record and have won their last 7 games.

Women’s Volleyball Suffers Loss to top-seeded Roger Williams

BY TYLER MILLIKEN // Oct. 14, 2016 //

The Women’s Volleyball team was unable to overcome their season-long struggles in Commonwealth Coastal Conference (CCC) play Thursday night, suffering a tough 3-1 loss to Roger Williams at home.

The Colonels fall to 7-10 on the season and now stoop to a 0-5 record in the conference. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Hawks moved to 6-0 in the CCC and 14-6 overall.

Roger Williams came out firing on all cylinders to start the first set, as they dominated Curry in almost every facet of the game. They built a quick 10-0 lead over the Colonels, and there was no energy to be found for the hometown team.

First-year coach Elizabeth Morris was visibly frustrated with her team’s inability to start strong and said after the game, “I think that playing up against the number one team has always been a challenge for them.”

The Hawks’ momentum overwhelmed Curry, as they fell behind 17-3 at one point. A combination of miscommunication and awkward play in front of the net led to quite a few points for Roger Williams. The Hawks went on to win the first set by a score of 25-6, clearly showing why they’re the top team in the CCC.

The Colonels came out a different team in the second set and scored early to build momentum on their way to grabbing a 6-1 lead. They inflated their lead to eight over the middle of the set by a score of 16-8 and from there, finished the second set with a 25-16 score. Senior Alyssa Keeney was all over the court, and finished with 25 assists on the night, a second-best in the game.

Roger Williams wasn’t quite as dominant as they were in the first set, but they still responded early and erased Curry’s first point with a five-point run of their own to take an early 6-1 lead in the third set. It seemed as if every time the Colonels was making adjustments, the Hawks went on a run to offset it.

Multiple bad serves and poor attempts at setting up teammates in front of the net, led to Curry giving away free points. It was no surprise when Roger Williams took advantage of these miscues and captured the third set, 25-17. A late run by the Colonels turned morale around a bit, but it wasn’t enough to make the set look competitive.

During the fourth set, it was tough to predict what Curry was going to do next as in certain moments they were locked in and wanted to make a run at the deficit, but at others, everything seemed to collapse. When facing a team like Roger Williams, there isn’t any room to lose focus at different points.

The Hawks went up 7-3 in the blink of an eye, and it was a deflating scene for the home team. Roger Williams cheered after each point they scored in this set, displaying an amount of intensity that the Colonels just couldn’t match.

A plethora of small, two or three point runs kept the Hawks holding a healthy lead over Curry. The final nail in the coffin came later on when Roger Williams went on an 8-2 run. The spikes set-up by the Hawks were flying through their opponents, with the Colonels late to react. The score sat at 21-13, and Roger Williams seemed set to coast to a victory from there.

However, Curry attempted to come back from this deficit as they scored three points with the Hawks on the brink of victory, but it wasn’t enough. Set four concluded with a score of 25-17, with the final point thanks to senior OH Kristen Boyer.

The Colonels will have to move on quickly from this one, as they are slated to play again Saturday morning. Moving forward, Coach Morris said, “We started out with the tougher part of the conference, so I think we’ve built ourselves up to where we are able to face the teams we’re coming up against with a lot more energy, power, and commitment.”

The Colonels are going to need a mindset like that entering the last leg of their season if they hope to make some serious noise before the CCC tournament.

Kill-Streak: Senior Nicole Grambley was the only player to record double-digit kills in the game with 10. Her 11 points scored also led the Colonels, but two Hawks out-scored her.

Keep on Digging: Junior Courtney Carroll finished with a game-high 11 digs and currently ranks sixth in the CCC with 275 total digs. However, her 5.19 digs per set earn her a second-best mark in the conference.

Road Tripping: Curry embarks on their second-to-last away game Saturday as they play Eastern Nazarene at 11 a.m. for another CCC matchup. The Lions currently sit a 5-13 overall and 1-4 in the CCC.

Women’s Volleyball beats Bridgewater State to end losing streak

BY JASON POMBO // Oct. 12, 2016 //

The women’s volleyball team snapped their three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over non-conference opponent Bridgewater State University. The Colonels improve to 7-9, while the Bears fall to 7-11.

Curry started the first set on fire, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead thanks to two aces from senior Alyssa Keeney. However, Bridgewater came roaring back to tie the first set at 11. The Bears’ comeback was led by sophomore Elizabeth Roberts who racked up seven kills during the game. Roberts and the rest of the Bridgewater team won a close first set, 26-24.

Early in the second set, points were falling on both sides of the net until an ace from senior Nicole Grambley put the Colonels in front 12-8. Bridgewater tied the score at 16 just to fall behind 20-17, only to come back again to tie it at 21 apiece.

Sophomore Grace Stafford recorded a kill to tie the game at 24, the ninth time the two teams matched score in the set. Stafford then went to serve and eventually delivered the winning service ace to even the game 1-1.

The Bears took the early 3-0 lead in the third set behind Roberts and sophomore Erin Clifford, but Curry battled back to tie the score at 10. All of the sudden, Bridgewater took a 16-13 lead thanks to a 6-1 run.

The Colonels responded with a six-point run of their own to jump out 19-16. The teams worked to another tie at 22 and Grambley followed Stafford’s suit and recorded a kill only to go to the service line to win the third set by a 25-23 score.

Curry took one step closer to ending their skid and bolstered their case by jumping out to a 7-4 lead in the fourth set. However, after they reached a10-7 lead, they eventually fell behind 14-12.

Enter, once again, Stafford, who led the Colonels’ charge to tie the game at 14. Points again began to fall on both sides until the score was deadlocked at 19.

Curry took advantage of a service error and took a two-point lead at 21-19, an advantage which they never let go. Keeney assisted both of the final two points to lead the Colonels over the Bears 25-22.

After the game, assistant coach Danielle Dean was very proud of her squad. She noted that “overall I think we played really well, everybody did their job played smart, played clean, and played as a team which was key.”

She hung her hat on the fact that there were “no individual performances.”

Block Party: Curry heavily out-blocked Bridgewater State by a large margin of 8-2. Junior Nicole Rice accounted for half of them. 

Assisting Alyssa: Senior Alyssa Keeney recorded 45 assists to lead the game and account for all but three assists for the Colonels. Her 255 total assists over 49 sets places her tenth-best in the conference with a mark of 5.20 assists/set.

Thursday Night Volleyball: Curry quickly returns to action, again in the confines of the Eleanor M. Katz Gymnasium, as they play host to a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup with top-seeded Roger Williams University, Thursday night at 6 p.m.