UTICA, N.Y. – The defending North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) women's volleyball champions began their defense on Saturday afternoon as Gallaudet University swept two matches on the campus of SUNYIT. Gallaudet (8-3, 2-0 NEAC) didn't drop a set as it cruised to back-to-back 3-0 shutouts against the host Wildcats and Morrisville State College.
GU jumped out early on SUNYIT and won in straight sets 25-12, 25-20, 25-17 to begin the afternoon. Freshman Kali Frowick (Norfolk, Neb.) led the way with 12 kills, 13 digs, two service aces and one block as she recorded her third straight double-double. Junior middle hitter Jessica Israel (Frederick, Md.) added 11 kills and was tough up front with six blocks (five block solos). Fellow junior Ann Whited (Fishers, Ind.) logged eight kills and eight digs from the outside hitter position to go with two blocks. Senior Paige Johnson (North Richland Hills, Texas) had four kills, seven digs, two service aces and an assist and block while junior Mari Klassen (White Rock, British Columbia) made a team-high three service aces and came up with 11 digs. Sophomore Michelle Mansfield-Hom (Frederick, Md.) provided a spark off the bench with seven kills. Freshman setter Sarah Tubert (Burbank, Calif.) racked up 39 assists to go with five kills, two digs and five blocks at the net.
The Bison turned around and went up against the Mustangs and won easily 25-10, 25-9 and 25-23. Gallaudet coach Lynn Ray Boren was able to play all 13 players in uniform to get some new faces some valuable game experience. Frowick chalked up 14 kills, five digs and one service ace while Paige Johnson threw down nine kills, five service aces and two digs. Israel played one set and recorded five kills while Whited made four kills, two digs and one service ace in two sets played. Tubert led the match with 37 assists to go along with four of the following; kills, digs and service aces. Juniors Lauren Benedict (Germantown, Md.) and Krystal Johnson (North Richland Hills, Texas) played in all three sets.GU was on fire in the first set as the Bison made 12-of-18 kill attempts (56 percent) and followed with 15-of-30 (50 percent) in the second. Bison freshmen that came off the bench against the Mustangs included Gabriella Beyer (Austin, Texas), Julia Wolff (Belleville, Ontario) with one block solo, Alison O'Hara (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with four kills and two digs and Carly Weyers (Lincoln, Neb.) made her season debut with two service aces.
Gallaudet will make its highly anticipated home opener on Thursday, September 22, at 7 p.m. against Johns Hopkins University. Prior to the match the Bison will be recognized for receiving their fifth straight American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award.