Nov. 11, 2001
Loudonville, N.Y. - MAAC Player of the Year candidate Valentina Zaharieva killed 14 of her 25 attempts and Ludmilla Kechina registered 18 kills (.517 attack percentage) as St. Peter's captured the regular-season MAAC Championship with a convincing 3-0 win at Siena Sunday afternoon.
The Peahens ended the regular season with a 21-5 overall mark, 9-0 in the MAAC and will be the top seed in next weekend' MAAC Tournament to be played at Siena's Alumni Recreation Center. The Saints closed the 2001 regular season with a 17-10 overall record, 7-2 in the MAAC. Siena will be the three seed and take on defending champion Fairfield in Saturday's semi-final action. Manhattan College closes out the four-team field as the four seed.
The Saints held the lead 18-16 in the first game following an emotional senior day ceremony, but the Peahens regrouped to capture 14 of the game's final 16 points and earn a 30-20 win. Sophomore Lauren Weber had 13 kills and nine digs to pace Siena, classmate Marissa Gregg added seven kills. Senior captain Sarah Watkins played well at setter as she has all season, registering 21 assists, 12 digs and four kills.
The second game was also close mid-way through, but again St. Peter's closed out with authority capturing a 30-19 victory. The Peahens also cruised to a 30-20 third game win, running their consecutive games victory to 42-St. Peter's has not lost a match since October 2.
Prior to the game, seniors Caroline Werdelin, Allison McCourt, Kelly Megyesi and Watkins were all honored for their successful senior careers. The quartet was a major factor behind helping the Saints qualify or an unprecedented 10th consecutive MAAC Tournament this season.