Bryant Sweeps Sacred Heart to Claim First NEC Title

  0 volleymob | November 17th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Bryant def. Sacred Heart 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-21)

  • Bryant wins NEC Championship
  • Bryant moves to 22-12; Sacred Heart moves to 17-10
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Box Score

Courtesy: Bryant Athletics

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Redshirt-senior Julia Flynn (Pembroke, Mass.) recorded a team-high 13 kills and senior Kristin Kingi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) broke the program’s Division I career record for digs, propelling the Bryant University volleyball team to its first Northeast Conference Championship with a sweep of Sacred Heart Saturday on the campus of LIU Brooklyn.

With the win, Bryant captures the Northeast Conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament and its first ticket to the field of 64 since becoming postseason eligible at the Division I level in 2012. Bryant made 11 trips to the NCAA Division II tournament in the 1990s and 2000s with the last coming in 2007.

Match Information
Bryant 3, Sacred Heart 0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-21)
Records: Bryant (22-12); Sacred Heart (17-10)
Location: Steinberg Wellness Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Coach Garlacy’s Comments
“The team leadership, with our five seniors, made this possible and made it happen tonight. It’s not just the way they played, but the way they made their teammates feel comfortable. It gave them the confidence to step up and perform when they needed to. That’s a huge part of the success we’ve had all season, and especially this weekend when we had some young players come in and play well in pressure situations.”

How it Happened

  • Set 1 – Three straight Sacred Heart points put the Pioneers ahead 12-8, prompting a Bulldog timeout. SHU would push the lead to 16-9 before a 12-4 run put Bryant ahead 21-20. With Bryant leading 24-22, Flynn’s attack was ruled out, but a successful challenge by Coach Garlacy overturned the call and won the set for the Black & Gold.
  • Set 2 – Bryant led 9-5 before SHU scored five of the next six to even the set at 10. The Pioneers led 18-15 at a Bulldog timeout, but Bryant would get the next two out of the break to pull within 18-17 and tied the set at 22 on a block from freshmen Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Haley O’Brien (Milton, Mass.). Tied at 23, a kill from Flynn and an ace from sophomore Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) closed out a 25-23 set to go up 2-0.
  • Set 3 – The Bulldogs held a 16-11 lead before three straight Pioneer points led to a timeout from Coach Garlacy. Bryant pulled ahead 24-17 with four straight points and held off an SHU comeback bid, as a kill from Kennedy at 24-21 closed out the three-set victory and conference title.


  • Flynn recorded 13 kills and eight digs in the victory.
  • Ward tallied a match-high 17 digs.
  • Kingi added 16 digs and eight kills, passing Debora Magalhaes for Bryant’s Division I career marks. The senior now has 1,365 career digs.
  • Kennedy collected nine kills and five blocks.
  • Senior Kirstyn Sperry (Phoenix, Ariz.) recorded 23 assists, while senior Julia Malet (San Rafael, Calif.) added 14.
  • Senior Grace Richmeyer (DeSoto, Mo.) hit .412 with seven kills and three blocks.
  • Flynn was named NEC tournament MVP and joined Richmeyer and Ward on the all-tournament team.
  • Bryant hit .164 for the match, while Sacred Heart was at .141.
    The Bulldogs recorded eight blocks and the Pioneers tallied 8.5.
  • Bryant improves to 26-17 all-time against Sacred Heart and 8-15 in the Division I era.

Up Next
Bryant will learn its destination and opponent for the first round of the NCAA tournament when the NCAA selection show is held Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Courtesy: Sacred Heart Athletics

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Sacred Heart University women’s volleyball team fell to Bryant, 3-0, in the 2018 NEC Championship on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, SHU ends its season with a 17-10 (9-5 NEC) record.

Liisel Nelis led the Pioneers with a team-high 12 kills, along with 8 digs. Freshman Sarah Ciszek added 30 assists and eight digs, while Emma Smallcomb led SHU with 12 digs.

Set 1

  • The Pioneers jumped out to a 5-2 lead, capped by a Bryant attack error
  • After Bryant cut the SHU lead to 10-8, the Pioneers went on a 6-1 run that was capped by a Nelis kill
  • Bryant responded by battling to a 20-20 tie
  • After Kiley Ridgway put the Pioneers up 22-21, the Bulldogs went on a 4-0 run to take the set 25-22


  • Bryant opened the set with a 6-2 run
  • SHU was able to battle back and tie the set at 10-10
  • The two teams exchanged points to a 15-15 tie
  • Tied at 15-15, the Pioneers took the next three points off a Nelis kill, followed by back-to-back kills from Gianna Scioletti
  • Bryant came back to tie the set at 23-23, then took the final two points of the set to take a 2-0 lead


  • Bryant opened the set with an 8-4 lead
  • The Bulldogs extended its lead to 16-11
  • The Pioneers battled back to cut the deficit to 16-15, capped by an Alix Polk kill
  • Trailing 24-17, SHU recorded four straight points to cut the deficit to 24-21, but Bryant took the next point to clinch the NEC Championship

By The Numbers

  • SHU hit .141 for the match
  • Bryant hit .164 for the match
  • Lauren Middlemass and Alix Polk each recorded a service ace in the win
  • Emma Smallcomb recorded 16 digs to lead SHU
  • Sarah Ciszek had a game-high 30 assists

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