CHESTNUT HILL, MA – Pine Manor topped Mass Maritime 3-0 Monday night, squeaking out a 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 27-25) victory thanks to strong net play from hitters Alie Johnston and Jen Gross, earning coach Juan Barboza Gubo his first win as Gators head coach.
In the only set not to go to overtime, a Laia Lopez-Best (Providence, RI/William B. Cooley) serve ace put the Gators in front 14-8, leading to a Buccaneers time out. Johnston (Winnipeg, MB/River East) threw down four of her match-high 12 kills and a block in the opening frame, while Gross (Coral Springs, FL/Coral Glades) added three kills, three aces and a block of her own as the Gators cruised to a 25-17 victory.
Gross’ Gators jumped out to another 14-8 lead in Game 2, but the Buccaneers sailed back to tie the contest at 16 with five consecutive points on Victoria Presutti (Marshfield, MA/Archbishop Williams) serves. Maritime went ahead 22-21, leading to a Barboza time out, and a Presutti ace put the Bucs ahead 25-24. One of Gross’ seven kills tied the contest at 25, and the Gators put the match away with consecutive points on Tathiana Moise (Malden, MA/Malden) serves, winning 27-25.
Gross mixed in two serve aces to put the Gators up 6-0 before Mass Maritime had the chance to serve, but the Bucs battled back again, going on a 17-7 run to take a 17-13 lead in Game 3. After Maritime’s second time out of the set, trailing 22-21, the Bucs came back to tie the set at 25. In her first home match as a Gator, Johnston took over when Pine Manor needed her most, giving the Gators the game with back-to-back kills and securing the 27-25 victory.
The 5-9 freshman finished with 23 digs to go with a pair of blocks and 12 kills. Gross, meanwhile, totaled 16 digs to go with seven kills and a team-high three blocks. Sara Rosado (Chelsea, MA/Chelsea) led the Gators with 13 assists.
Mass Maritime falls to 0-5, while the Gators even their record at 1-1. Pine Manor enters Great Northeast Athletic Conference play Tuesday, playing host to Simmons at 7 p.m.
Mon, September 14, 2009
by Ryan McCarthy