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Seahawks advance to semifinals with sweep over Leopards

Duggan had seven kills on just 15 attacks to go along with 12 digs
Duggan had seven kills on just 15 attacks to go along with 12 digs

NEWPORT, R.I. - The Salve Regina University women's volleyball program earned its first-ever post season victory with a 3-0 sweep over the Wentworth Institute of Technology during the quarterfinal round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament at the Rodgers Recreation Center on Wednesday night. The Seahawks cruised to a 25-11 victory ni the opening set before fighting off the Leopards to take the final two frames by scores of 25-23 and 25-21. The win improves the Seahawks to 16-12 overall, while the Leopards fall to 14-15 on the season.

Sophomore Clare Adams (New Concord, Ohio) had a team-high nine kills and three aces for the Seahawks while also adding 12 digs on the night. Senior Julianne Barry (Randolph, Mass.) led all players with six blocks in the win, while freshman Diana Tauro (Melrose, Mass.) had a match-best 17 digs. Freshman Taylor Violet (Tiverton, R.I.) also played well, dishing out a match-high 32 assists, while sophomore Jackie Cinquemani (East Islip, N.Y.) collected six kills in just seven attacks to compile an .857 hitting percentage.

The Leopards were paced by junior Julie Rahilly (Nashua, N.H.) who led all players with 11 kills to go along with 10 digs, while freshman Shannon Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) added 19 assists and eight digs in the loss. Senior Julie Bruton (Montgomery, Texas) also had a solid night, compiling 15 digs, six kills, and a pair of blocks.

The Seahawks came out firing in the opening set, recording an outstanding .667 hitting percentage enroute to a 25-11 victory.

Wentworth bounced back well in the second set, and with the score tied at 3-3 early in the frame, the Leopards went on a 10-3 run to open up a 13-6 advantage. The Leopards continued to hold the lead throughout the set, and appeared on the verge of tying the match at one set apiece when they held a 23-19 lead late in the frame. However, the Seahawks stormed back with six straight points, including an ace from Violet to close out the set, 25-23.  

In the third and final set, the Seahawks jumped out to a 7-3 lead and never looked back. After the Leopards cut the lead down to just two at 9-7, the Seahawks erupted for a 7-1 run to take a 16-8 advantage. The Seahawks led 21-15 when the Leopards battle back by taking four of the next five points to close the gap to 22-19. However, the Seahawks rallied back to seal the set, 25-21.

The Seahawks will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to face #2 Endicott in the CCC semifinals starting at 7 p.m. in Beverly, Mass.