WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Roger Williams defeated St. Joseph's (N.Y.) 3-0, 25-13, 25-7, 25-13, in the opening match of the NCAA Division III Williamstown, Mass. Regional Women's Volleyball at Chandler Gym on the campus of Williams College.
Roger Williams improved to 31-3 on the year with the win, while St. Joseph's finishes the season at 21-13.
Roger Williams opened the first set with a 5-0 run keyed by two kills by Krystie Luczynski from sets by Nicole Weber.
St. Joseph's claimed the next three points off a Roger Williams' error and two service aces by Tiffany Willms, but the Hawks responded with three points in a row, including another kill from Luczynski to take an 8-3 lead.
The closest the St. Joseph's Golden Eagles would come in the opening set was being down four, 9-5, when Heather Ferchland delivered a kill off a set by Julianne Tierney.
The Hawks utilized their height to great advantage in the set (and the match), recording nine of their last 16 points off of four more kills by Luczynski to win the first set, 25-13.
In the second set St. Joseph's notched the first point off a kill by Tiffany Willms, but Roger Williams answered with a 9-0 run and a 9-1 lead. In the 9-point skein, the Hawks got a kill each from Luczynski, Kristen Boyer and Sarah McAniff and two service aces from Nicole Weber.
St. Joseph's narrowed the Hawks' lead to 12-5 with kills from Julianne Tierney and Heather Ferchland and SJC benefitted from an RWU attack error. That, however was the closest the Golden Eagles would come as Roger Williams took 13 of the next 15 points in the set to win, 25-7.
The Golden Eagles opened the third set with a 3-0 run that featured a Tiffany Willms kill sandwiched by two attack errors by Roger Williams.
The tide, however, quickly turned against the Golden Eagles, and their comeback bid was stymied by seven attack errors, a kill each by the Hawks' Brittany McMullen and Sarah McAniff. In a flash the RWU lead was up to 12-3 before St. Joseph's would score again.
The Golden Eagles scored the next three points off of two kills by Kristin Crudele and an attack error by the Hawks to trail 12-6.
St. Joseph's battled back to a four-point deficit at 15-11 and it stayed at four until 17-13, when the Golden Eagles had a ball-handling error.
Then the Hawks then rattled off the last eight points of the set to win 25-13. The set-clinching run was boosted by four Golden Eagles' attack errors and highlighted by kills from Andrea Gorman and Brittany McMullen and a service ace from Nicole Weber.
Roger Williams playing in their fifth consecutive NCAA tourney, captured their first NCAA victory. The Hawks are 1-4 in the NCAA event to date. "We're headed in the right direction getting this win," said Hawks' head coach Ben Somera. "We've been here five years in a row and we worked hard to get the seeding that would give ourselves a good chance to win."
"It feels great to accomplish one of our goals," said senior Krystie Lucynski. "It's been four years of hard work." Sophomore setter Nicole Weber added, "We focus more on what we do on our side of the net, always staying positive, and trying to play every team the same way."
St. Joseph's was making its third NCAA appearance and all-time the Golden Eagles are 0-3 in the tourney. The Golden Eagles received six kills on the day from Heather Ferchland, while Julianne Tierney contributed 13 assists and 12 digs.
Roger Williams was led by Krystie Luczynski's 11 kills, Nicole Weber's 19 assists and Darian Tredennick's 10 digs.
Roger Williams advances to the second round at 2:30 PM ET Saturday.