Mancini Leads Gulls at Springfield Invitational, Earns All-Tourney Nod

Emma Mancini swings through a jump serve.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Endicott women's volleyball team opened its season at the Springfield Invitational over the weekend where the Gulls took on Emmanuel (Mass.), Skidmore and host Springfield over the two-day tournament. The Gulls swept Emmanuel on Friday 3-0 for their first win of the 2017 campaign and fell to both Skidmore and Springfield by 3-1 decisions on Saturday to end the weekend 1-2.

After averaging an astounding 3.91 kills/set for the weekend, totaling 43 kills in the three matches, junior outside Emma Mancini (Lynnfield, Mass.) was named to the Springfield Invitational All-Tournament Team. Mancini was also impressive defensively, averaging 2.25 digs/set over the three match weekend, while chipping in five aces from the service line. 

MATCH ONE: Endicott 3 Emmanuel 0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-15)

For their first match of the season, Endicott was able to make quick work of Emmanuel, sweeping in three straight sets. Mancini set the tone offensively, leading the Gulls with 10 kills on 24 swings as she hit .333 for the match. The junior filled out the box score, posting four aces and five digs as well. Freshman Nicole Winkler (Southborough, Mass.) impressed in her collegiate debut, notching a .400 clip with five kills and just one error on 10 swings.

Setter Mareena Clotfelter (Poulsbo, Wash.) posted eight assists and six digs in only two sets of play, while Zoey Gifford (Natick, Mass.) recorded eight kills and a team-best 11 assists, narrowly missing out on a double-double. 

Defensively, Cydney Pierce (Carpinteria, Calif.) and Mackenzie Kennedy (Andover, Mass.) were strong, picking up eight digs each.

MATCH TWO: Skidmore 3 Endicott 1 (25-17, 23-25, 28-26, 25-21)

In an extremely close match to open play on day two, Endicott fell to Skidmore by a 3-1 final. The Gulls were led by Lauren Sheehan (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) as the opposite notched a team-best 17 kills on 43 swings. Mancini was close behind, posting 14 kills of her own to go with 16 digs for her second career double-double.

Endicott's blocking potential was on display against the Thoroughbreds as the Gulls recorded 14.5 blocks as a team. Leading the defensive effort at the net was middle Emily Diezemann (Peabody, Mass.) who recorded seven blocks by way of two solo and five assists. Sophomore Araya Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) was close behind, finishing with six blocks of her own (1S, 5A). Pierce finished with 17 digs to lead the Gulls while Kennedy finished with 12 digs of her own.

Clotfelter and Gifford combined for 41 assists and 14 digs, as Clotfelter finished with 23 assists and seven digs to accompany Gifford's 18 assists and seven digs.

MATCH THREE: Springfield 3 Endicott 1 (23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-17)

In their final match of the Invitational, the Gulls were locked in yet another tight affair, falling to the Pride by a 3-1 final that saw three of the sets be decided by three points or less. 

Mancini added to her All-Tournament resume in the finale, leading all student-athletes with 19 kills on 54 swings to hit .278. The junior also picked up four digs, one ace and one assist block in the setback. Diezemann hit a match-high .545 after picking up seven kills on 11 swings from the middle to go with three blocks.

Lessard led all players with five blocks as she recorded one solo and four assist blocks. Helping to lead the defensive effort was Pierce who finished with a team-best 18 digs in the four set contest. Freshman Nichole Trudon (Coventry, Conn.) recorded her first double-digit dig effort, finishing the match with 10. Gifford posted a team-best 20 assists to accompany her 10 digs. 


Endicott travels to North Shore foe Salem State on Tuesday for a 7:00 p.m. start before returning home on Friday to host Springfield again in the MIT Invitational. The Gulls and Pride are slated to start at 6:00 p.m. 

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