PAXTON, Mass.—Sophomore Amari King (Lawrence, Mass.) finished with 39 kills and 24 digs to lead the third-seeded Anna Maria College volleyball team to a 3-2 victory over the sixth-seeded Monks of Saint Joseph's College in Tuesday Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinal.
The win marks the first GNAC postseason victory for the AMCATS in program history. They improve to 21-10 on the season and advance to Thursday's semifinal match at No. 2 Rivier. The Monks see their season end with a 12-13 record.
With her performance tonight, King becomes the AMCAT first player in program history to eclipse 500 kills in a single season. She entered tonight's game 15 kills away from the milestone and now sits at 524 on the season. Coupled with her freshman season, King owns 815 career kills.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The AMCATS won the first two sets handedly by scores of 25-12 and 25-16. The AMCATS hit at an incredible .414 as a team in the first set, tallying 14 kills and just two errors. They added a .256 hitting effort in the second set on the strength of 15 kills, four errors.
The Monks took an early lead in the third set to set the tone and managed to stifle a few AMCAT rallies along the way. A four-serve streak by Victoria Huntley (Ellsworth, Maine) midway through the frame helped open a 14-10 lead for the Monks, who managed to keep a four-point margin until the AMCATS closed it to two points at 20-18 on a monster block by King and Alyssa Goulet (Lawrence, Mass.). Anna Maria was unable to close the gap fully though, and Saint Joseph's claimed the 25-22 victory.
The Monks took an early 8-1 lead in the fourth set en route to another 25-22 victory to force a deciding fifth set. In the decider, Anna Maria took 3-1 lead on a kill by King. Anna Maria took back-to-back points on a Monks service error and a service ace by King to take a 7-4 lead, which forced the Monks to call time out.
Anna Maria took a four-point lead on a kill by Rebecca Foti (Bedford, Mass.) out of the timeout, and led 10-5 following a Monks' attack error. King stole the finale, rattling off three-straight kills for points 13, 14, and 15 to win the final set 15-9.
In addition to King's stellar performance, the AMCATS received a 16-kill, 15-dig effort from Foti. Freshman setter Tierney Clancy (Meriden, Conn.) dished out 59 assists, served three aces, and scooped up 11 digs.
Foti and Goulet both served four aces apiece.
As a team, Anna Maria totaled 66 kills and hit at .193
The Monks were paced by Huntley with 18 kills and 14 digs. Shadai Gosselin (Somersworth, N.H.) chipped in with 11 kills and 23 digs, while Jordynne Copp (Cumberland, Maine) added 10 kills.
The Monks made their biggest impact in the match at the net, where they combined for 12 blocks on the day. Chatham Mills (Gorham, Maine) finished with four solo blocks and two assisted blocks, while Copp had a solo block and four block assists.
Defensively, libero Jennelle Thompson (Farmington, N.H.) recorded a match-high 40 kills.
As a team, the Monks hit a .110 on the evening and totaled 42 kills.
The AMCATS advance to Thursday's GNAC semifinal match at second-seeded Rivier. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. Rivier defeated Anna Maria 3-0 in the regular season on October 8th.