Volleyball Veterans Lead the Way

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Friars Look to Continue Hot Start to Season

Joseph Quirk ’23

Sports Staff

Last year, the Providence College Friars Volleyball team faced the daunting challenge so many other collegiate sports teams had to face: a season in the wake of a global pandemic.

The Friars spent all of last season playing in masks, having a schedule constantly in flux, and starting their practices much later than usual with no summer training camp to help players get acclimated before the onset of the season.

It was a completely different way to go about doing a Division I sports season, and there were many differences between this season and last. “Well, the biggest difference is we don’t have to practice or play in masks,” said head coach Margot Royer-Johnson. “So that’s definitely different. And significant.”

And in terms of differences on the court, the five new freshmen on the team seem to have had a big impact on their dynamic and successful play so far this season, building off last year’s 7-3 record and fourth-place finish in the Big East. “The biggest difference right now is we have five new freshmen and we only lost one player from last year,” said coach Royer-Johnson. “So, we pretty much brought back everyone who was with us this past year and we’ve added five new players. And they’ve all gotten playing time,” added coach.

Women's Volleyball
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Yet, despite all the COVID-19 difficulties last season, Coach Royer-Johnson led the Friars to their first Big East Tournament appearance in years. Unfortunately, a COVID-19 outbreak prevented the girls from being able to play in the tournament, but that disappointment seems to have provided them with extra motivation and confidence going into this season. “Yeah, it’s definitely stuck with them. I think it’s given us the confidence that we need to mentally know that we can qualify for the tournament and be successful in the Big East Conference,” said coach Royer-Johnson. She then added, “I think confidence is a big part of this game, and so it is a mental game in a lot of ways.”

That confidence has certainly shown up in the play on the court thus far. So far this season, the Friars are 12-1 in non-conference play, with their only loss so far to the United States Military Academy, also known as Army. However, since that loss to Army back in August, the Friars are 11-0 and winning games in dominant fashion with 10 out of their 12 wins being decided by four sets or less.

Coach Royer-Johnson points to added depth as another reason for the team’s tremendous start. “Well, we have a lot more depth than we’ve had in the past,” said the coach. “We have a lot more depth and a lot more talent. A lot more experienced talent, so we don’t have to play certain players in certain positions, we have options” she added. On the topic of depth, Coach Royer-Johnson mentioned last season how the team only had two outside hitters, and while they had players that could play there if necessary, she feels much more comfortable allowing players to play their own positions.

Coach Royer-Johnson also discussed the team’s experience as a big factor in its performance. “The two biggest experience factors are our setter and libero,” said coach Royer-Johnson. The team’s setter Allison Barber ’23 is a grad student, using her extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, and Coach Royer-Johnson pointed out that she had been the team’s setter since her freshman year. “When you have basically your quarterback coming back, that’s obviously an experience boost,” said the coach. As for the team’s libero, Mackenzie Taylor ’22 is a senior who has been playing crucial minutes since her freshman season. “The leader of our defense is the libero and she’s a senior this year and she too has been starting for us since her freshman year,” said the coach. Coach Royer-Johnson then added, “So the leaders of both our offense and defense are our veterans, and yeah, I think it most certainly makes a difference.”

Allison Barber
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Friars now get the week to prepare before starting Big East competition this Friday, Sept. 24 on the road against Xavier University. When asked about the impending Big East Conference play and whether the team was going to keep using their current strategies, Coach Royer-Johnson showed respect to the competition before saying that the Friars only wanted to be better before conference play began. “Yeah, it’s definitely going to be a step up in terms of level of competition,” stated the coach. “I think we’re just hoping that by that time we have a lot of our skills honed a little bit, that our connections that we’ve been making with our hitters are a little more precise and our passing is a little more precise, our serving is a little bit tougher,” explained coach Royer-Johnson. However, immediately after this remark she was quick to point out how the Friars are leading the conference in aces per set and that it is a strong part of their game–she just wants the team to perfect it.

The Friars now have the rest of conference play and hopefully tournament play to look forward to. After a great season last year and a fantastic start this year, Coach Royer-Johnson said that their expectation and hope this season is to prove the haters wrong. “We have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder given how well we did in the spring, and what we believe in ourselves, we were picked only eighth in the Big East. We felt like we were pushed down a little bit by that, so I think one of our goals is to just prove ‘em wrong,” emphasized Coach Royer-Johnson. She also mentioned what the coaching staff is looking for going forward in the season. “We’re just looking for everyday improvement. You know, that one-percent-better-every day improvement.”

The Friars look to continue their fantastic start into Big East play this Friday against Xavier University in what will hopefully be the first of many Big East victories for Providence College this season. 

COVID-19 Ends PC Volleyball’s Incredible Year

by Jack Belanger


Friar Sports


Magic Season Comes to an End Too Soon

Luke Sweeney ’24

Sports Staff

For the Providence College Women’s Volleyball Team, adversity struck when they were sent home for the 2020 spring semester last year. This meant that they would not have the chance to practice together or to engage in any in-person, team-building activities in the lead up to their next season. However, head coach and former player Margot Royer-Johnson was able to adapt to the situation by creating an online fitness and team-building program that allowed her team to remain in contact with each other while improving their skills in preparation for the 2021 season.

When asked about her team and how they responded to the challenges of COVID-19 protocols, coach Royer-Johnson could not say enough about how pleased she was with the way the athletes adapted and committed themselves to being successful: “Every member of our team completely bought into our offseason program and were more than excited to compete once allowed back on campus.” 

Their hard work in the offseason clearly paid dividends as the shortened, 2021 spring season came to a close. It was a special season for the Friars, as it was the first time they had been invited to the Big East tournament since 1999. In a dramatic, five-set victory over the Villanova University Wildcats in late March, the Friars punched their ticket to become the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, such as players testing positive and being close contacts of positive cases, Royer-Johnson and her team were forced to pull out of the tournament just a week before they were set to begin. This was a devastating moment for all members of the team, especially the seniors who will not be returning to compete next year.

Photo Courtesy from PC Athletics

Although the season did not end quite the way they had hoped, two players, as well as the entire coaching staff, were awarded Big East All-Conference Honors to highlight their exceptional performances this season. 

Allison Barber ’21 and Emma Nelson ’23 were both named to the All-Big East First Team.  

Barber was highlighted as a dominant player in the Big East because of her ability in the backcourt, ranking fourth in assists in the Big East, while also racking up 115 defensive digs. Nelson has proved to be dangerous near the net in her first two seasons with the Friars, tallying a total of 128 kills in her sophomore year as well as carrying a .226 hitting percentage.

Although both players were tremendous this year, coach Royer-Johnson emphasized that their success as a team was not dependent on any individual’s performance, rather, their success was the product of a complete team effort. “Every player on this year’s team contributed to our success,” said Royer-Johnson. “There was very little focus on individual accomplishment.”

The coaching staff, headed by Royer-Johnson, was recognized for their 7-3 season by being named the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year. The team, picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll, far exceeded expectations by finishing second in the east division. 

When asked what she thought contributed to this accolade, Royer-Johnson remained humble by insisting it was a full-team effort. She also explained that it was not only the coaching staff that was crucial to the team’s accomplishments, but also the Providence College athletic training staff, calling them “one of the best in the entire country.” The trainers played a huge role in keeping the members of the team healthy and in peak physical shape throughout a difficult offseason and into the end of the year.

Although their run came to an end in a heartbreaking fashion, PC volleyball produced fantastic results in a trying time, and now look well positioned to build on their success next season.

 

March Sport Shorts

by Jack Belanger


Sports


Week of 3/11-3/17

By Ben Bilotti ’23

Sports Staff

Women’s Volleyball

The Providence College Women’s Volleyball Team played a two-game series against the University of Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Team on March 12 and March 13. PC won both games three sets to one and improved their record to 5-1. In game one, Emma Nelson ’23 stood out with 14 kills, including a go-ahead kill in the first set. Jennifer Leitman ’23 and Elena Leontaridou ’23 both had 12 kills. Allison Barber ’21 also impressed, accumulating 45 assists and 16 digs. In game two, Barber continued her success with 39 assists and 10 digs. PC looks to continue their hot start to the year against St. John’s University on March 19 and 20.

Women’s Soccer

The Providence College Women’s Soccer Team hosted Villanova University on Sunday, March 14. The Friars dominated the match, beating the Wildcats 4-0. They improved their record to 5-1-0 on the season: the program’s best since 2010.  Hannah McNulty ’21 shot and scored the first goal of the game. After that, Samantha Adams ’24 did not waste much time, scoring 14 minutes later for her second goal of the season. In the second half, Elayna Grillakis ’22 scored her first goal of the season before Meg Hughes ’24 added the final goal of the game. PC’s defense went to work in the match, only allowing two shots on target. The Friars will look to continue their winning ways at St. John’s University on March 18.

Men’s Hockey

The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey Team faced the University of Connecticut on March 14 in hopes of advancing to the Hockey East Semifinals. The Friars bested the Huskies, beating them 6-1 in dominant fashion. Six different Friars shot and scored. Parker Ford ’23 scored first early into the first period. In the second, Uula Ruikka ’24 and Nick Poisson ’24 scored within 60 seconds of each other to put the Friars up 3-1. Tyce Thompson ’22, Brett Berard ’24, and Max Crozier ’23 each added a goal later in the game to solidify the impressive 6-1 win.

Women’s Hockey 

The Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team fell 3-0 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 16. This was the second-ever NCAA tournament appearance for the No. 7 Friars, the only other time being in 2005. Goalie Sandra Abstreiter ’21 did all she could to will the Friars to a victory, tying her season-high with 41 saves, but the Friars could not get anything going against the talented Wisconsin defense. The loss marked the end of a fantastic season for the Friars, one that also saw them make it all the way to the Hockey East finals.

Fall Sports: Back in Action

by Jack Belanger


Friar Sports


Volleyball and Field Hockey Among Fall Sports Starting Back Up

By Joseph Quirk ’22

Sports Staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide and has made competing in sporting events especially difficult. At Providence College, fall sports managed to complete a full season in 2019 prior to the onset of the pandemic. However, with the pandemic continuing throughout the summer and into the fall of 2020, having a new season start on time was nearly impossible. This led sports like volleyball and field hockey to switch their seasons to the spring, beginning their games in the snowy month of February.

For Margot Royer-Johnson, the head coach of the PC Women’s Volleyball Team, the biggest challenge was making sure her team was in the right condition for the start of the abridged season. In an interview with The Cowl, coach Royer-Johnson said, “Not having access to outside gyms, that kind of thing because of COVID, our bodies just aren’t in competitive shape just yet. That’s been a challenge because we have had to slow practices down a little bit to avoid injuries, and not cover as much as we would normally because we have to stay healthy.”

Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Royer-Johnson also noted that starting the season in late winter as opposed to mid-fall is “surreal,” and that other unusual issues have come up, such as scheduling conflicts with the men’s and women’s basketball teams. These are just some of the challenges many teams are now facing as a result of the pandemic.

Much like coaches from other teams at PC, Royer-Johnson had to get creative over the past year, especially when her team was studying remotely last spring semester and was unable to have formal practices this fall. “Our strength and conditioning coaches gave them workouts that they tried to modify as best as they could to support them or use the equipment that they have at home,” said Royer-Johnson. “We did a lot of Zoom calls where we did a lot of ‘get to know you’ sort of things. We also did a lot of diversity and inclusion work that I think we all truly needed and continue to need.”

Royer-Johnson also noted that while this whole experience has been difficult, she does try to find the silver linings. She mentioned that the team was given time to “reflect” and to “get in touch with reality,” in addition to feeling a deeper appreciation for the way things were pre-pandemic.

All of this hard work seems to have paid off, however, as the Friars started their season off right with a 3-1 victory over Bryant University on Feb. 14 before posting another 3-1 victory over the University of Rhode Island on Feb. 22. When asked about how confident she is in her team heading into the rest of the season, coach Royer-Johnson said, “I feel really confident with the process and where we are right now.” She emphasized that the team is pleased with their progress this season, especially considering the significantly lesser amount of practice time than usual.

While volleyball deals with its challenges as an indoor sport, head field hockey coach Diane Madl expressed her concerns as an outdoor fall sport starting in what has been a very snowy winter. “I think there’s definitely that component of things that is out of our control, and we tried to acknowledge that from the get-go,” Madl said. “We knew there was going to be a need for adjustment, and we did our best to prepare the team.”

That sentiment of adjustment was something coach Madl mentioned several times in her interview, saying that one of the biggest challenges to a delayed start is adjusting the routine that she previously used during a normal season. Much like Royer-Johnson, Madl got creative to help her players during the offseason.

One of the ways she did so was by doing team building exercises over Zoom. “We do the best we can to have good video opportunities over Zoom, not just showing some hockey but also doing some team building stuff,” said Madl. “Everything from family feud to Jeopardy, to whatever we could come up with.”

Madison Babineau runs up the field
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

In terms of any potential positives of a delayed season, coach Madl expressed the increased time frame to incorporate new additions into the team. “As a fall sport, a lot of times you’re coming in and you have a very short preseason for the newcomers to blend into the team in a way that takes time,” she said. “So, I think having that extended period of time, albeit very different and very unique, I think it did afford the opportunity for those newcomers to blend into the culture of our program and get to know everyone a little bit better.”

The field hockey team has their first game of the season on Feb. 28 against the University of Connecticut. Coach Madl feels confident heading into their season opener. “We feel good,” she said. “Again, it’s a unique year, and the one thing we learned is that we can accomplish a lot by sticking together and fighting for each other.” She believes her team has what it takes to push through any challenges the start of the season may throw at them.

For coach Hoyer-Johnson and coach Madl, the start of their respective seasons is a relief after a long and difficult wait. Despite the adversity caused by the pandemic, each has gotten creative, and their teams look ready to beat the odds in a very unique year.

 

14 Friars Named to All-Big East Teams

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Hogan ’20RS, Leitman ’23, Serrano ’20RS Among Athletes Named

By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

At the conclusion of each sports season, the Big East gives recognition to the top stand-out athletes of the season. Following the conclusion of the fall sports season, Providence College had a combined 14 athletes selected to the All-Big East First, Second, Third, and Freshmen Teams. Each athlete was voted onto the teams by coaches throughout the league. The men’s soccer team had the most athletes voted in with five players and women’s soccer and field hockey both had four apiece. The volleyball team had one player selected to an All-Big East Team.

Men’s Soccer

Tiago Mendonca ’20RS and Joao Serrano ’20RS were both selected to the All-Big East First Team. Both players started in all 18 games, and Mendonca finished the regular season with one goal and four assists whereas Serrano finished with four goals and seven assists. As a midfielder, Mendonca logged 1,459 playing minutes. Serrano, who was a defender, logged 1,601 playing minutes; with the exception of one game, he played for the entire duration of games this season. He also tied for first in the Big East conference in assists.

Paulo Lima ’22 received All-Big East Second Team recognition. While he did not log a single playing minute during his freshman season, Lima started every game this year and logged 1,543 minutes on the field. The midfielder is tied with Serrano for most points for the Friars; each player recorded 15. Lima also led the team with seven goals.

Austin Aviza ’20RS and Danny Griffin ’20 were both named to the All-Big East Third Team. In his first year with the Friars, Aviza started in net every game this season and recorded eight individual shutouts and two shared shutouts. He had a 0.85 goals against average and a .717 save percentage. Griffin, who was a midfielder, has started in every game for the Friars over his four years at the College. In his final season, he scored two goals and notched a single assist.

Women’s Soccer

Shelby Hogan ’20RS, who was acknowledged as the Big East’s Goalkeeper of the Year, was named to the All-Big East First Team. Leading the league with 52 saves, she recorded a .788 save percentage and finished the season with four individual shutouts and one combined shutout.

Named to the All-Big East Second Team, Hannah McNulty ’21 finished the season with a team-high nine goals. The forward started every game for the Friars this season and ranked third in the league in shots (66), eighth in the league in goals (eight), and third in the league in game-winning goals (four).

Both Lisa Verhoeven ’23 and Alexis Rothmann ’23 were named to the All-Big East Freshman Team. Verhoeven started every game this season for the Friars and recorded 1,752 total playing minutes. Likewise, Rothmann also started every game and she recorded 1,721 minutes on the field.

Field Hockey

Corinne Kenney ’19 and ’20G and Mary O’Reilly ’20 both were voted onto the All-Big East First Team. Kenney, a defender for the team, has started in each of the 74 games she has appeared in during her career. Throughout the course of the 2019 season, she notched three assists. O’Reilly finished her career as a midfielder with career highs in points (16), goals (five), and assists (six). Four of her five goals were game-winners.

Lydia Rice ’19 and ’20G and Izzy Mendez ’20 received All-Big East Second Team recognitions. A starting goaltender for the Friars, Rice totaled 1,139 minutes in net this season with a 1.26 goals against average and 0.739 save percentage. She registered six shutouts this season, the most in a single season since 2007. Mendez, a forward, was the lead scorer for the team this season with nine goals and notched 20 points total overall.

Volleyball

Jennifer Leitman ’23 was the lone Friar on the volleyball team to gain a spot on an All-Big East Team. Voted onto the All-Big East Freshman Team—the first Friar to be named to the team since 1998—Leitman ranked 10th overall in points per set (3.33), 11th overall in kills per set (2.78), and 11th overall in service aces per set (0.31) in the Big East. Over the course of her freshman season, she notched a total of 239 kills, 31 service aces, and 286.5 points.

14 Friars Named to All-Big East Teams

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Hogan ’20RS, Leitman ’23, Serrano ’20RS Among Athletes Named

By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

At the conclusion of each sports season, the Big East gives recognition to the top stand-out athletes of the season. Following the conclusion of the fall sports season, Providence College had a combined 14 athletes selected to the All-Big East First, Second, Third, and Freshmen Teams. Each athlete was voted onto the teams by coaches throughout the league. The men’s soccer team had the most athletes voted in with five players and women’s soccer and field hockey both had four apiece. The volleyball team had one player selected to an All-Big East Team.

Men’s Soccer

Tiago Mendonca ’20RS and Joao Serrano ’20RS were both selected to the All-Big East First Team. Both players started in all 18 games, and Mendonca finished the regular season with one goal and four assists whereas Serrano finished with four goals and seven assists. As a midfielder, Mendonca logged 1,459 playing minutes. Serrano, who was a defender, logged 1,601 playing minutes; with the exception of one game, he played for the entire duration of games this season. He also tied for first in the Big East conference in assists.

Paulo Lima ’22 received All-Big East Second Team recognition. While he did not log a single playing minute during his freshman season, Lima started every game this year and logged 1,543 minutes on the field. The midfielder is tied with Serrano for most points for the Friars; each player recorded 15. Lima also led the team with seven goals.

Austin Aviza ’20RS and Danny Griffin ’20 were both named to the All-Big East Third Team. In his first year with the Friars, Aviza started in net every game this season and recorded eight individual shutouts and two shared shutouts. He had a 0.85 goals against average and a .717 save percentage. Griffin, who was a midfielder, has started in every game for the Friars over his four years at the College. In his final season, he scored two goals and notched a single assist.

Women’s Soccer

Shelby Hogan ’20RS, who was acknowledged as the Big East’s Goalkeeper of the Year, was named to the All-Big East First Team. Leading the league with 52 saves, she recorded a .788 save percentage and finished the season with four individual shutouts and one combined shutout.

Named to the All-Big East Second Team, Hannah McNulty ’21 finished the season with a team-high nine goals. The forward started every game for the Friars this season and ranked third in the league in shots (66), eighth in the league in goals (eight), and third in the league in game-winning goals (four).

Both Lisa Verhoeven ’23 and Alexis Rothmann ’23 were named to the All-Big East Freshman Team. Verhoeven started every game this season for the Friars and recorded 1,752 total playing minutes. Likewise, Rothmann also started every game and she recorded 1,721 minutes on the field.

Field Hockey

Corinne Kenney ’19 and ’20G and Mary O’Reilly ’20 both were voted onto the All-Big East First Team. Kenney, a defender for the team, has started in each of the 74 games she has appeared in during her career. Throughout the course of the 2019 season, she notched three assists. O’Reilly finished her career as a midfielder with career highs in points (16), goals (five), and assists (six). Four of her five goals were game-winners.

Lydia Rice ’19 and ’20G and Izzy Mendez ’20 received All-Big East Second Team recognitions. A starting goaltender for the Friars, Rice totaled 1,139 minutes in net this season with a 1.26 goals against average and 0.739 save percentage. She registered six shutouts this season, the most in a single season since 2007. Mendez, a forward, was the lead scorer for the team this season with nine goals and notched 20 points total overall.

Volleyball

Jennifer Leitman ’23 was the lone Friar on the volleyball team to gain a spot on an All-Big East Team. Voted onto the All-Big East Freshman Team—the first Friar to be named to the team since 1998—Leitman ranked 10th overall in points per set (3.33), 11th overall in kills per set (2.78), and 11th overall in service aces per set (0.31) in the Big East. Over the course of her freshman season, she notched a total of 239 kills, 31 service aces, and 286.5 points.

Sports Shorts Week of Oct. 31- Nov. 6

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


by Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Coeditor

 

Men’s Soccer Update:

Traveling to Cincinnati, Ohio for their final road game of the season, the Friars defeated the Xavier University Musketeers 2-1. After being down 0-1 for most of the game, the Friars were able to score both of their two goals in the final 10 minutes of play. Paulo Lima ’22 scored the first goal for the Friars off a corner kick by Gil Santos ’22, notching him an assist. Ramzi Qawasmy ’22 scored his second goal of the season and second Friars’ goal in the game off of a pass from Joao Serrano ’20RS. PC outshot Xavier 19-3. The Friars won their last regular season game against St. John’s University 2-0. Lima and Esben Wolf ’23 netted both goals for the Friars.

Women’s Hockey Update:

The Friars split this past weekend with a 1-0 win against the College of the Holy Cross and a 2-5 loss against Boston College. Sandra Abstreiter ’21 started in net for the first time this season against the Crusaders and recorded her first career shutout as a Friar. She made 26 saves. Bailey Burton ’23 scored the lone goal for the Friars on a redirect off of a rebound from a wrist shot by Chloe Gonsalves ’21. 

Clare Minnerath ’20 started the game against BC but after letting in five goals, she was replaced in the second period with Abstreiter, who saved all of the 15 shots on net that she saw. Maureen Murphy ’21 notched both of PC’s goals and won 12 out of 23 faceoffs, the highest on the team that day.

Volleyball Update: 

On Friday, November 1 the Providence College Volleyball Team was able to snag a Big East win against Seton Hall University in three straight sets. Some match highlights include Jenae Alderson ’20 and Brielle Mullally ’23 both recording eight kills.  Allison Barber ’21, along with Alderson and Addison Root ’20, led PC with 13 digs. As a whole, the team totaled 14 blocks. The team hosted St. John’s University on Nov. 3, when they fell 1-3 to the Red Storm. The match went four sets, with PC winning only one of the four. Despite the loss, Barber tallied 25 assists and eight digs, Root had 14 kills, and Mackenzie Taylor ’22 led the team in digs (12).

Addison Root ’20 Hits Career Milestone

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Senior Joins an Elite Group of Players With 1,000 Kills

By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

providence college volleyball Addison root 1,000 kills
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Providence College Women’s Volleyball Team may have lost their match against Butler University on Oct. 10, winning only one of the four sets played, but for Addison Root ’20 there was a lot to celebrate.

Root did not realize at the time, but she registered her 1,000th career kill.

While she did acknowledge that she had a feeling that she was close to achieving the milestone statistic, Root said on the feat, “I knew that I needed 12 in that game so my mindset was ‘alright, gotta go get it!’”

Root was keyed into her achievement by an official announcement during a time out. “During the timeout, our coach was kind of getting on us, so I tried not to smile or anything to keep it casual. My teammates were smirking up at me and I was like ‘Guys, not now!’”

A transfer student from the University of Memphis, Root began her career as a Friar in a stellar sophomore season, starting in all of PC’s 33 matches. At the end of her first season, she led the team in kills (416), aces (36), and was third on the team in digs (258). The MVP of the 2018 Friar Classic, Root was named to the All-Big East Second Team, which at the time made her the first Friar since 2001 to earn a Big East Award in volleyball.

Her first season as a Friar holds not only some of the most memorable playing moments in her career (her first weekend of Big East play included an upset against both Georgetown University and Villanova University and personal career highs), but was also pivotal in rediscovering her love for the game.

“The best decision I ever made personally was to transfer here. Being able to get two degrees and also re-find my love for volleyball after transferring was really everything I could have asked for and more,” said the Kansas native. The ultimate highlights of her career as a Friar are all of the memories she has with the team, hanging out in the locker room and on their road trips.

However, despite her immediate success as a Friar and the success that would follow, Root credits her teammates for having the biggest impact on her career and experience at the College.

“After I got [the 1,000th kill], all of my teammates were posting on social media and I was like, ‘Guys, this wouldn’t be without you because I can’t hit the ball without you. This is all you, I just have to swing.’ We are really close as a team. This has probably been the closest team that I have been a part of,” admitted Root. “We are more than willing to work hard for each other.”

And, despite their overall 5-18 record going into the second half of their season, Root believes it is the team’s closeness and hardworking mentality that will allow them to have a winning record for the final stretch of the season.

“Our record hasn’t necessarily shown all of the work and talent that we have on the team,” Root said before stating that despite the team’s losing record, they are winning more sets than ever this season and only suffered a two-point deficit loss to the ninth team in the country. “We come into the gym every single day and don’t let the losses get us down. We continue to work incredibly hard and have fun playing together.”

Vowing that the team is ready to do whatever it takes to have a winning second half of their season, Root said, “I think we just need to continue to keep the same mentality of working hard and keeping up the fight. We can upset some teams and upset their seasons.”

Individually, Root would really like to see the team capture some Big East wins that she feels they deserve after all of the team’s hard work thus far. “We’re obviously tired of losing but it’s not [as if] we are going to give up. I would like to see some of that translate into some wins.”

More focused on what the team is doing as a whole in comparison to her own personal goals and achievements, Root said she is “pretty happy” with her 1,000th kill achievement. “It was pretty cool,” she concluded.

Sports Shorts

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Eileen Flynn ’20

Sports Staff

Volleyball Update:

The volleyball team welcomed two Big East rivals, Butler University and Xavier University this past weekend. After two weekends on the road, the Friars faced Xavier on their home court. After losing the first set, the Friars fought back to win the second set 25-21. The Musketeers finished strong and took the next two sets to win the match. A similar pattern unfolded on Sunday for their next match-up against Butler. Despite battling to win the second set, the Friars fell 4-1. Addison Root ’20 fought hard against her opponents, hitting her 1000th career kill along with her seventh double-double of the season.

Men’s Soccer Update:

The Friars defeated Marquette University, 2-0, on Oct. 12. Esben Wolf ’23 scored his first career goal. His performance led him to be named Big East Freshman of the Week. The Friars traveled to DePaul University on Oct. 19. Despite outshooting the Blue Demons 15-7, the Friars fell 2-0. On Oct. 23, the Friars were victorious in Big East match-up against Villanova University with a score of 2-0. The Friars will head back home to welcome yet another Big East matchup against Creighton University.

Women’s Soccer Update:

Women’s soccer has an impressive current 8-5-2 record overall, 3-2-1 in the Big East. After drawing a tie against rival DePaul, the Friars faced Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Xavier had possession for most of the game, testing goalkeeper Shelby Hogan ’20RS 22 times. Xavier finessed two goals to finish the game on top of the Friars 2-0. Turning it around in the next match-up, PC came back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Creighton 2-1. The Friars dominated the second half, starting from the back with Hogan all the way to the top with Hannah McNulty ’21 who scored both goals for the Friars. 

Men’s Hockey Update:

The Friars ventured to Upstate New York for a weekend of hockey against St. Lawrence University and No. 10/9 Clarkson University. The Friars found the back of the net six different times in the first matchup against St. Lawrence. Parker Ford ’23 scored twice, while Patrick Moynihan ’23 got his first collegiate goal. The momentum continued into their second game against Clarkson, which ended in another victory for the Friars. Tyce Thompson ’22 scored twice for the Friars to make the score 2-1 before the end of the first period. Trailing the whole game, Clarkson made the score 3-2 in the third period, only for Ford to respond with a goal for the Friars. Providence left the weekend with two more wins as their season starts to pick up over the next couple of weeks.

PC Competes In Friar Volleyball Classic

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Friars Go 2-1; Lose to Brown in Final Game

By Sullivan Burgess ’20

Sports Staff

providence college women's volleyball friar classic tournament
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

From Friday, September 13, to Sunday, September 15, Providence College hosted its 15th Annual Friar Volleyball Classic. This year the College hosted Fairleigh Dickinson University, Coppin State University, and Rhode Island’s own Brown University.

Last season PC won the tournament, so the pressure was on for the Friars as they prepared for the first game against FDU, especially with the loss of four key seniors from last year. Senior Jenae Alderson ’20, who recently made a spot in the Big East Honor Roll, stated that the team wanted to strengthen their identity and figure out a solid game plan for the upcoming season.

In the first game of the tournament, the Friars faced the FDU Knights, and swept the match, 3-0, snatching a total of 51 kills, 50 blocks, and 64 digs. Jennifer Leitman ’23 led the match with 15 kills, while Allie Barber ’21 had to most assists with 43. The match allowed the Friars to show their strengths in the tournament. 

The next match saw the Friars against the Coppin State Eagles, who had previously lost to Brown, 0-3. After dropping the first set 21-25, the Friars quickly turned things around to win the next three sets and notch their second win of the weekend.

The Friars outscored Coppin State 68 points to 47 points. PC’s offense outperformed the Eagles by a wide margin,  getting 51 kills to the Eagles’ 36, and 46 assists to 32. Addison Root ’20 led the game with 14 kills and Barber led the game with 39 assists.

The table was now set for the Friars’ final match against Brown University, who also went 2-0 in the classic leading up to the final game.

The first set belonged to Brown, while the second and third went to PC; however, the last two sets belonged to Brown as they defeated PC 3-2. Though Brown ultimately won, the stats for the Friars kept their spirits high, especially with Root and Barber once again leading in kills and in assists.

providence college women's volleyball friars classic tournament
Laura Chadbourne ’20/The Cowl

Alderson called the game a learning experience, citing how she now believes the team has what it takes to form a chemistry that will lead them into the spotlight for the upcoming Big East season. Alderson also mentioned how she  was looking forward to surprising everyone this season and molding the raw potential that she and the team have to make strides this season.

”It has been fun experience so far to teach the newbies the game I was taught,” said Alderson. “And being their mentor, the way the former classes taught me, and in a way the newbies are teaching me a thing or two also.”

Up next for the Friars is the 2019 Dog Pound Challenge where PC will face off against Dartmouth University, the College of the Holy Cross, and tincoming Big East member the University of Connecticut. This will be an important game, as it presents a chance to show off what they can do to their rivals.

The team is ready for the spotlight, has found the identity it has been searching for all preseason, and is ready to show other teams that the Friars will be a tough opponent every match.