North Andover, Mass. – The Merrimack volleyball started hot on Thursday night but could not keep up the early momentum falling to conference foe American Int'l 3-1. The loss drops Merrimack to 3-19 (0-10 NE-10).
Game scores against AIC: 25-16, 14-25, 12-25, 19-25.
"Overall as a team we played with a lot of potential tonight," said head coach TJ Hajjar. "We just allowed them to make too many runs that put us away in matches that we were leading."
The Warriors started of the first set down 5-4 very early on but they turned it on and controlled the rest of set one with a 21-11 run to finish off the Yellow Jackets. The Warriors put together their most dominating set to date as they downed AIC 25-16. Freshman outside hitter Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y.) controlled the first set as she recorded a set-high seven kills while hitting at a .700 clip in the set.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 9-2 advantage early in the second set and never looked backed as they won the set by the score of 25-14. The Warriors could not put anything together offensively as they only recorded six kills on 38 attempts in the second set.
Set three was very tightly contested early on but two late 6-0 runs by the Yellow Jackets handed the Warriors the 25-12 loss in the third. The Yellow Jackets received well spread out production in the dominating third set victory.
Merrimack started off the fourth set smoking hot as they took the early 7-0 lead but a late 8-0 run by the Yellow Jackets ended the night for the young Warriors as they lost the set 25-19. Shaunda Forcier (Gonic, N.H.) led the way offensively in the fourth as she recorded five kills, while Allison Cote (Chelmsford, Mass.) racked up 10 assists.
Offensively the Warriors were given solid performances by Sheehan who notched 14 kills and Forcier who had 11. Jackie Jones (Amherst, N.H.) and Corrine Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) both played great defensively as they both had double digit digs, 13 and 10 respectively. Cote put in another strong performance with her game-high 33 assists.
The Yellow Jackets were led on the night by senior Taila de Souza who recorded a team-high 10 kills and Ellisha Terry who racked up 30 assists.
Merrimack (3-19, 0-10 NE-10) will hit the court next as they will travel to UMass Lowell on Tuesday October 25 for a conference matchup at 7 p.m.