Volleyball falls to Gordon in CCC semifinals after quarterfinal thriller at Salve Regina


JD Conte

Volleyball celebrates after scoring a point against Salve Regina.

Suffolk University’s volleyball team hosted the visiting Salve Regina Seahawks last Tuesday night for the Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinals. After falling behind 2-1 to the Seahawks, the Rams rallied to win the next two sets, winning the match 3-2.
It was the first home playoff game Suffolk hosted in the CCC, and the four seeded Rams picked up the win against the fifth seed Seahawks. They advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2019, when they were members of the GNAC.
“We played Salve earlier this year, and we were both pretty evenly matched,” said head coach Scott Blanchard. “So I figured it was gonna be a good match. They put some pressure on us in games two and three, we made a couple of changes and the changes worked.”
After the Rams took the first set 25-20, they had leads of 16-12 and 18-14 in the second set, only to see the Seahawks come back to take the set. The third set was all Salve Regina, taking an 11-7 lead and remaining in control.
Suffolk found themselves trailing early in the fourth set, but quickly rallied to take a 13-7 lead. That lead became 18-10 by the time Salve Regina called their second timeout of the set, but it didn’t stop the Rams from scoring three in a row and then controlling play to win 25-15.
“We subbed in a couple of kids into set four and they gave the team a spark,” said Blanchard when asked about what changes were made. “We were a little flat in game three… set four was a different story, those two brought some really good energy and carried us to the win.”
The players that Blanchard was talking about were sophomore Isabelle Huzar and freshman Chloe Clement. Huzar finished the match with a pair of kills to go with one dig, while Clement registered seven kills, one assist and one dig.
Leading 4-3 in the fifth and final set, Suffolk and Salve flipped the lead back and forth before Suffolk took a 9-6 lead. A strong Suffolk showing out of a Seahawks timeout led to another timeout being called. The Rams maintained control from there to win the deciding set by a 15-11 score.
Suffolk senior Kenzley Bell added another standout performance in the quarterfinal matchup, adding another 25 digs to her statline, now owning a career total of 1,078. Bell moved into second place on Suffolk’s all-time digs list, passing Dakhensey Marcellus’s 1,074 digs.
“We go as she goes,” said Blanchard when asked about Bell. “Her and Harmony (Johnson), … Nobody on the team, you ask any one of them why we are as good as we are and they will tell you, Harmony and Kenzley.”
With the win against Salve Regina, Suffolk secured a CCC semifinal matchup with top seeded Gordon College on Thursday night on the road, with a trip to the CCC finals on the line.
“We played them pretty tough up at their place when we played them the first time,” said Blanchard when asked about the matchup. “We’re gonna have to control the ball and we’re gonna have to do our best to get them out of system so that they can’t attack over us at the net.”
The Rams went on to visit Gordon College in the CCC semifinals.
Suffolk came out of the gate flat, with Gordon dominating set one by a score of 25-14.
The rest of the match turned out to be four tightly contested sets, with the teams trading victories. Suffolk won sets two and four, while Gordon won set three.
Suffolk fell behind early in set five, and while they were able to close their deficit multiple times, the Rams were never able to grab a lead. Gordon won the final set 15-12, ending Suffolk’s season.