Volleyball Wins Five Set Thriller Over Assumption

North Andover, MA –The Merrimack Warriors volleyball team defeated the Assumption Greyhounds 3-2 in a five set thriller in front of the home crowd at Volpe gym on Thursday night. The non conference victory is the first win in front of the home crowd on the season for the Warriors.

Game scores were 20-25, 25-13, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12.

Merrimack started out slow in set one and they were unable to make the comeback as they lost the set 20-25. Junior Jenna Reilly (Northport, N.Y.) led the way in the opening set with five kills while Brianna Trabucco (Canton, Mass.) contributed with 12 assists.

Set two was dominated by the Warriors as they controlled the tempo throughout with the 25-13 victory. Merrimack used a 9-0 run in the middle of the set to put away the Greyhounds. Set three needed extra points in order to determine the winner as the Warriors pulled out the 27-25 set three win.

Merrimack hung tough in set four but they could not finish off the Greyhounds. Assumption scored the final three points of the set to force a fifth and decisive set in front of the home crowd. Set five was a tight contest as the game was tied at 8-8 midway through the set. Merrimack used a 7-4 run to preserve the first home victory for the Warriors this season.

Merrimack was led to victory by Trabucco as she recorded a career-high 49 assists and three kills. Reilly led the way offensively as she produced 18 kills on the night. Freshman Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y.) continued her strong rookie season as she recorded her fourth double-double of the young season with 14 kills and 14 digs. Also contributing to the win were senior Nicole Duarte (Windham, N.H.) with 11 kills and junior Shaunda Forcier (Gonic, N.H.) with 12 digs.

Assumption was led on the night by Bizzie Gonring who recorded 12 kills for the Greyhounds. Senior captain Sam Lupinski added 10 kills in the losing effort.

"Jenna Reilly really was a force at the net for us tonight as she led the way for us," said head coach TJ Hajjar. "We showed confidence for the first time all year tonight. This is a huge win for us confidence wise."

Merrimack (3-7, 0-1 NE-10) will travel to Pace on Saturday to play in a double-header against C.W. Post at 1:30 pm and Pace at 4:00 pm.