NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior co-captain Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) registered a double-double to help propel the Connecticut College volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of DeSales to open the 2019 season on a high note. Set scores were 25-16, 25-12, and 25-16.
After finding themselves in a 6-3 hole by committing four attacking errors in the early going, the Camels rattled off five answered, wjich began with a smash by sophomore Avery Light (Sudbury, Mass.), and would eventually hit at a .297 clip during the match. A service ace by classmate Emma Roberts (Port Washington, N.Y.) followed by kills from Bridget Fatse (Trumbull, Conn.), another sophomore, and freshman Katie Gunderman (Oakland, Calif.) gave the hosts a lead they would never relinquish. An attack error by Bulldog Grace Merritt extended the lead to six at 19-13, and Gunderman finished the set with an ace.
Connecticut College burst out to a 12-3 advantage in the second set by embarking on an 8-0 with Roberts once again on service duties. The lead extended to twin figures at 14-4 on an attacking error by Diane Pugay and many as 11 when Light finished a pass from McGee to make it 19-8. Roberts added two of her four service aces in the set down the stretch to lift the Camels to a 13-point set win.
The Bulldogs were competitive at the beginning of the third set and went ahead by a slim 6-4 margin on an Audrey Wolfe service ace, but the Camels fought back and regained the lead on a service ace by McGee that dropped for a point in the back right corner between two Bulldogs who couldn't react in time. Gunderman then broke a 12-12 deadlock with a kill, and the Camels never trailed for the remainder of the set. Junior libero Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.) set up classmate Katie Howley (Scituate, Mass.) and Light for kills, and McGee fired another ace on match point to clinch the victory.
McGee provided a double-double by finishing the game with 20 assists and 11 digs to lead the way for Connecticut College. She also added two kills and two aces. Roberts contributed seven aces, which was more than the entire Bulldogs' team, and Fatse and Light registered eight kills apiece. Gunderman had an impressive collegiate debut with six kills to go along with four aces, and she was also among four Camels to register two blocks.
DeSales (3-2), which was held to a negative .114 hitting percentage, got four kills from Morghan Shoemaker and 12 digs from Cristal Fernandez. Wolfe finished with nine assists and five digs.
Connecticut College (1-0) concludes tournament play tomorrow with games against Roger Williams at 1 p.m. and Brandeis at 3 p.m.