Scared Heart 3, Rhode Island 2
Rhode Island fell in five sets to NEC preseason favorite Sacred Heart Saturday morning. The Rams led the match 1-0 and 2-1, but could not close things out.
Leading two sets to one, URI took a three-point lead in the fourth set after a Zoe Staats kill put the Rams up 13-10. Sacred Heart outscored Rhody 15-4 down the stretch however, forcing a decisive fifth set. There, the Pioneers jumped out to a 7-2 lead and remained on top the rest of the way, eventually clinching the match with a 15-7 victory.
Harvard 3, Rhode Island 1
Rhode Island took the opening set from Harvard, 25-23, for the early advantage. The Rams led by as many as five at several points early on. Up 15-10 after a Natale Zanellato kill, Rhody allowed the Crimson back in it as a 7-2 run by the home team evened the score at 17 apiece. The teams traded point the rest of the way, tying the set at 18-18, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23 before back-to-back kills by Zanellato and Gabrielle Shilling ended things in favor of Rhody at 25-23.
Harvard stormed back in the second set however, claiming each of the first five points and stretching the lead to 12 at 15-3. Rhody was unable to overcome the early deficit, eventually falling 25-15 to even the match at 1-1.
The Rams and Crimson battled through the next two sets, but a pair of 25-21 victories allowed Harvard to claim the match in four sets.
Inside the Box Scores
- Junior setter Annie Ell averaged 10.00 assists per set, finishing the day with 90 total. She also combined for 10 digs, three kills, two aces and five blocks - two of which were solos.
- Ell was named to the Harvard Invitational All-Tournament team. Over the course of Rhody's three matches, she recorded 120 kills (10.00 per set), 15 digs, five blocks, three service aces and three kills.
- Sophomore Gabrielle Shilling finished the day with a team-high 30 kills, registering a career-best 18 against Sacred Heart and adding 12 against Harvard.
- Sophomore Mariah Paulette also set a new career-high for kills, with 15 in the match against Harvard. Overall, she finished the day with 25 kills and three service aces.
- Shilling and Paulette each added four block assists as well.
- Redshirt junior Natale Zanellato double-doubled against Sacred Heart, finishing the match with 11 kills and a career-high 18 digs. She went on to record 10 kills and six digs against Harvard.
- Freshman Gillian Klise had six kills in each match. She also finished the day with five blocks, including one solo.
- Sophomore Zoe Staats combined for 12 kills as well - five against Sacred Heart and seven against Harvard.
- Sophomore Ella Ratzloff recorded 32 digs through the Rams nine sets, averaging 3.65 digs per set.
- Sophomore Abby Fillion (17) and freshman Adel Gage (13) combined for 30 digs on the day.
The Rams are back in action next weekend at the CCSU Invitational. There, Rhody will face Bucknell on Friday before taking on Saint Peter's and CCSU on Saturday.