2018 Volleyball Year In Review

Photo of the 2018 Lyons Volleyball Team

Under the direction of second-year head coach Iris Carpio, the Lyons posted an 8-15 overall mark during the 2018 season. MHC also posted a 1-9 record in NEWMAC action, which included a 3-1 win over rival Smith College.

MHC opened the season with a split in tri-match action, earning a 3-1 win over New England College following a tough 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wentworth Institute of Technology in the opener. The victory saw senior captain Jamesa Allen post a match-best 19 kills with three blocks.

The Lyons extended their winning streak to four with victories over MCLA (3-0), Newbury (3-0) and Pratt Institute (3-0). Junior middle hitter Sasha Simine had an outstanding effort in the tri-match versus Newbury and Pratt, totaling 25 kills, seven blocks and just three errors on the day. 

Mount Holyoke opened NEWMAC action with a tough loss to Wheaton (3-0), but rebounded with a non-conference win against Westfield State as Allen laid down a match-best 16 kills, while senior libero Cameron Graham had 15 digs to go along with five service aces from sophomore setter Brayden Walden.

Tough losses to Wellesley (3-0) and Coast Guard (3-0) followed, but the Lyons once again battled back with a 3-0 win over Anna Maria. MHC saw Allen pace the way, notching a match-best 14 kills with five aces and two blocks. Walden added a match-best 19 assists, while Graham added a match-high eight digs.

A rough stretch followed as MHC suffered seven straight defeats, but snapped the slide with an outstanding 3-1 win over the University of Southern Maine in the second game of tri-match action. Rookie outside hitter Sarah Bishop led the effort with 12 kills, adding 11 digs and two aces, while Allen had 11 kills and a block in the win.

Following tough losses at Clark (3-0) and Elms (3-1), the Lyons bounced back once again, this time against conference and area-rival Smith College. MHC, which battled back from an early deficit, earned the 3-1 win behind 13 kills each from Allen and Simine – who also posted a match-best eight blocks.  

The Lyons shouldered another pair of defeats at the hands of Babson and Worcester State to close out the season.

Overall, Allen led the squad in kills with 203 through 23 matches. She also paced the team with 52 total blocks (21 solo, 31 assist). Senior right side Sarah Caggiano posted 160 kills, while Simine added 149 kills and a team-best hitting percentage of .299. She also added 45 blocks (20 solo, 25 assist). Walden recorded a squad-best 38 service aces and 526 assists, while Graham had 260 digs.

Academically, the Lyons had two players tabbed to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference team, while Simine was tabbed to the conference's All-Sportsmanship Team.