NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University volleyball team captured their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) win of the season on Wednesday night in Andrews Hall Gymnasium, defeating the Monks of Saint Joseph's College of Maine by a 3-1 final score.
The Cadets came out hot, as they dominated the first set to a 25-12 tune. Norwich made just one attack error in the set as they rattled off eight straight points to close out the opening set and take a 1-0 lead.
Saint Joseph's battled with Norwich in the second set, as the lead swapped hands several times. Back-to-back blocks by the Monks made it 23-21 Norwich late, but Kathryn Farnum (North Attleboro, Mass.) came up with two straight kills to lock up the 25-21 victory.
The Monks found their rhythm in set number three, rattling off eight straight points early to take an 11-6 lead. Norwich rallied to make it a 16-15 lead, but the Monks pulled away late to take the third set and stave off the end of the match by a 25-20 score.
Norwich showed no interest in entertaining a fifth and decisive set, coming out in the fourth set and opening action up with an 8-3 run to quickly jump ahead. The Monks rallied to make it 9-7 Norwich, but the Cadets outscored them 16-7 the rest of the way to take the match-sealing 25-14 set win.
Michele Zummo (Highland Mills, N.Y.) led the way with a game-high 18 kills, the sixth highest single-game total in Norwich volleyball history and a new career-high for the junior, and did it on an efficient 0.262 attacking percentage. Kathryn Farnum continued her fine sophomore season with 13 kills on a 0.385 attack percentage and 12 digs, while senior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) put in another solid effort with 38 assists, and freshman libero Olivia Brown (Rye, N.H.) collected a game-high 26 digs on the day.
Erin Olson led the Monks with eight kills and six blocks (one solo) on the day, while sophomore Sophia Randall put up 25 assists. Senior libero Jennelle Thompson led Saint Joseph's with 19 digs.
The win bumps Norwich up to 5-6 on the year and a 1-4 record within the conference, while the Monks fall to 3-9 overall and 2-2 within the GNAC.
Next up for Norwich is a home date with the Cardinals of SUNY-Plattsburgh on Friday at 6:30 PM in Andrews Hall Gymnasium during Parent & Family Weekend at Norwich University.