St. Lawrence University first-year student Rebecca Briggs matched her career-high with 12 kills on Friday night, leading the Saints volleyball team to a 3-0 conference victory over Skidmore College in Rochester, NY.
The Saints, who have already clinched a spot in the conference tournament, improve to 18-8 on the season and 7-3 in Liberty League play behind the 25-22, 25-18, 25-15 win. They can lock up the No. 2 seed in the tournament with a pair of wins tomorrow against Union (8-2) and RIT (3-6). Meanwhile, Skidmore falls to 9-16 (2-9).
"We started out slow but found our focus and energy as the match progressed," said St. Lawrence head coach Shelly Roiger. "We had a different lineup due to some injuries, but I thought our team did a great job in moments of adversity."
The Saints were without junior captain and starting setter Jenna Street and sophomore Mariah Dignan, while sophomore Cristina Deschaine was also forced out of the match after just one set due to injury. Though Skidmore had only five kills in the first set, the Thoroughbreds held a 21-19 lead due to several Saints' errors. With the match tied at 22-22, Briggs delivered a key kill with an assist from senior captain Anna Kassab, while rookie Amanda Brooks recorded the final two points for a dramatic 25-22 win and a 1-0 lead.
Skidmore refused to cave, again taking an early lead at 8-7. However, an 11-4 run by St. Lawrence would give the Scarlet and Brown control of the set, as Rebecca Doser delivered five kills in that stretch for a 17-9 lead. Though the Thoroughbreds would cut to within four, the Saints again rattled off the final three points of the match, including two kills from Doser, to win 25-18.
In a very similar start to the second set, Skidmore once again took an early three point cushion, only to see St. Lawrence use a big run to seize control of the match. Trailing 5-3, St. Lawrence scored 12 consecutive points, six of which were Skidmore errors. Skidmore couldn't regroup and the Saints controlled the momentum throughout, closing out the three-set win, 25-15.
Briggs hit .455 on the night, while Brown added 11 kills and Doser chipped in nine. Kassab had 20 assists for the Saints while rookie Lauren Carey contributed 15. Defensively, Brown led the way with 16 digs, while Briggs had 3.5 blocks. Skidmore was led offensively by Aria Goodman and Corinne Palmer, as each had seven kills on the night. Emma Wilberg had a match-high 21 assists.
St. Lawrence will determine its postseason seeding tomorrow, with the first of two crucial matches coming at 12:00pm against Union College. The Saints will then face RIT at 2:30pm.