Tepper leads women’s volleyball past Rivier

By Domenic Conte, Sports Columnist

The women’s volleyball team bounced back from a 3-1 loss at Endicott College with a 3-0 win over Rivier College behind junior outside hitter Grace Tepper’s 20 kills. 

“Offensively she’s a beast,” head coach Ben Read said in a post-game interview. “She plays high above the net, just hits the crap out of the ball. At the end there you saw she can get it done with a little finesse too.” 

Emerson jumped out to a commanding 19-10 lead in the first set, but Rivier stormed back to tie the game at 22. With the score tied at 24, Grace Tepper’s drop shot gave the Lions the advantage before Caroline Bond finished the set with a strike down the middle of the court. Tepper recorded eight kills in the set, almost doubling her kills per set average of 4.16. 

“We built a big lead and kind of got a little complacent and expected them to give us a set,” Read said. “Once they started pushing I don’t think we weren’t quite prepared so it was a battle after that.” 

The Lions held a lead throughout the second set before the Raiders pulled closer and trailed 24-22. On the final play of the set, Tepper dove for two consecutive digs before a Rivier attack sailed above her head and out of bounds, finishing the game at a score of 25-22. 

Sophomore defensive specialist Lauren Quan said Tepper’s play rubs off on the rest of the team.

“She’s always so awesome, so calm, and such a great player,” Quan said after the game. “It just makes everyone else super hyped.” 

The Lions continued rolling into the third set, holding a comfortable lead over Rivier until finishing the game by a score of 25-22. 

“Our offense was running pretty well,” Read said. “Defensively, we did a great job of picking up tips after the first half of the set. We’re a pretty scrappy team.” 

Thursday’s game sponsored the “You Can Play” initiative, a project dedicated to the inclusion of LGBTQ athletes in sports.

The women’s volleyball team will face non-conference opponent Brandeis University on Oct. 26 at home.