In the first match of a Saturday afternoon tri-match hosted by Albertus Magnus College, the Emmanuel College Saints (4-11, 1-0 GNAC) took on host Albertus Magnus in a battle of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) foes. The Falcons (5-6, 0-3 GNAC) came into the match flying high after earning their fifth win of the season earlier this week at home against Mass Maritime.
The Falcons took an early 5-4 lead in the first set after a tie-breaking kill from junior Melissa Manning (Milford, Conn.). The Falcons' early lead did not last long as the set became a seesaw battle encompassing 17 ties and seven lead changes. The Saints began to pull away late in the opening set, taking a 21-17 lead, and seemingly putting the set away.
Just as the set seemed sealed for Emmanuel, the Falcons roared back with a 4-0 run led by the strong serving of freshman Alyssa Puccilli (Derby, Conn.). With the match tied at 24, Manning earned yet another kill which put the Falcons' ahead 25-24 and looking at game point.
An Albertus service error followed by a hitting miscue gave the Saints a one-point lead before the 17th tie of the set at 26 apiece. Back-to-back kills by Emmanuel closed the door on the Falcons' come-from-behind attempt.
Emmanuel took care of business in the second set, winning 25-14, before coming out in the third to win by six points. The Falcons recorded just five kills in the third set in addition to seven hitting errors to allow Emmanuel to seal the conference victory, its first of the year.
Krista LaBissoniere (Meriden, Conn.) dished out 19 assists in the match and had 10 digs, while Nicole Acerra (East Haven, Conn.) led the Falcons with 11 digs. Puccilli also had 10 digs for the Falcons along with one service ace. Freshman Kelsey Pendagast (Shelton, Conn.) led the Falcons with five kills in 14 tries.
Emmanuel was led by Alison Donnelly with 24 assists, while Danielle Rose had a game-high 10 kills in 28 attempts. Cara Callahan added 12 digs as well.