Women’s Volleyball Falls to Endicott in CCC Tournament Finals

The Roger Williams University women’s volleyball team was defeated by the Endicott College Gulls 3-2 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship game on Nov. 4. While devastated they lost, the team showed nothing but class and good sportsmanship as they watched Endicott College receive the CCC Championship trophy.

After a week filled with mild offense, the Roger Williams University women’s volleyball team prepared for a head-to-head with Endicott College’s high aggression play.

The RWU Hawks took an early lead in the first set to hold off the Endicott Gulls almost immediately. With a season-long target on their backs, the Gulls knew they needed to retaliate to stand a chance. The Gulls stood behind in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) only by their loss to Roger Williams early in the season. In the second set, Endicott took a lead from the first serve to quickly take a hold of the Roger Williams defense. As they did the rest of the season, the Hawks pulled themselves together with a quick talk from Head Coach Danielle Soubliere and came back fighting.

The Hawks kept their spirits high and took advantage of Endicott’s errors to keep a close score, but the Gulls took the second and third sets by less than five points each. Senior libero Meghan Chartier took command of the court, outperforming her current season-best with 28 digs throughout the afternoon. Junior Nicki Fallisi and sophomore Julia Fields followed Chartier’s lead with 23 and 14 digs, respectively. Fields also produced 52 assists on the match. Sophomore Maddie Neuberger played the floor to keep the team fighting with four blocks — matching junior Molly Quilty — and five service aces.

The Hawks were able to hold off Endicott in the fourth set, but the fifth proved to bring too many nerves as the Gulls took the CCC title for the second year in a row.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and it was,” Soubliere said. “I just think we gave up too many errors in the beginning and it caught up to us in the end.”

Throughout the season, however, Soubliere led the Hawks to some other great accomplishments. Most recently, Soubliere was named CCC Coach of the Year, and Chartier was named CCC Libero of the Year, as well as an All-CCC First Team member. Quilty and sophomore Lara LoIacono also landed spots on the first team while Fields and Fallisi were chosen for the second and third teams. Chartier had previously been named Libero of the Week during the week of Oct. 8, as well as LoIacono being named the top CCC Player of the same week.

Finishing undefeated for in-conference play during the regular season, most of the Hawks’ wins were easy sweeps against their opponents. In October, the Hawks were ranked seventh in New England, according to New England Women’s Volleyball Association and N.C.A.A. New England Regional polls. Even during the CCC preseason polls, Roger Williams volleyball earned No. 2.

“Our team played so hard and gave everything they had. I couldn’t be more proud of the girls that were out on that court,” said senior captain Meghan Smith.

The roster will remain strong, losing only three very beneficial seniors — Chartier, Smith, and Victoria Caruso. Caruso, unfortunately spent the season on the bench with a torn ACL. However, Smith had her best season as a Hawk with 91 spikes and 14 service aces.

“It was a bittersweet end to the season,” Smith said. “It’s been the greatest time of my life and coming here was the best decision I ever made.”

“This doesn’t define our success this season,” Soubliere said. “It’s one of the best seasons I’ve coached.”