Purple Knights suffer four-set loss at Southern Connecticut State

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team fell at Southern Connecticut State University, 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-13), in a Northeast-10 Conference match at Pelz Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. After the loss, the Purple Knights drop to 10-11 overall and 2-8 in the conference, while the Owls improve to 21-8 and 9-4.

Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) recorded 16 kills, 14 digs and three blocks for Saint Michael's, while junior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) added 14 kills and four blocks. First-year Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) tallied seven kills and 20 digs, and senior Tracy Peterka (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) finished with five kills and 12 digs. Junior Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) gave out 44 assists and gathered 14 digs, while senior Courtney Dunne (Hopkinton, Mass./Bancroft School) added 27 digs for the Purple Knights.

Junior Jade Black (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) notched 15 kills and 17 digs for Southern Connecticut State, while classmate Lauren McVey (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) added 14 kills and 25 digs. Senior Kimberly Lachowicz (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield) tallied 54 assists and 15 digs, and junior Sarah Beres (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) finished with 14 kills and seven digs. Senior Syriah Celestine (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) contributed 11 kills and three aces, while first-year Olivia Lathrop (Farmington, Conn./Farmington) totaled six kills and three blocks. Senior Vanessa Sullivan (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) gathered 22 digs for the Owls.

Neither team trailed by more than four points in the opening set, until Walsh recorded a kill to put Saint Michael's on top, 22-17. Southern Connecticut State took five of the next seven points to trail 24-22, but the Purple Knights claimed the set on a kill from Covitz.

The Owls took seven of the first 10 points to start the second frame, but Saint Michael's climbed back to two-point deficits of 10-8 and 11-9. Southern Connecticut State put together a 7-1 run to extended its lead to eight, at 18-10. The Purple Knights mounted a second comeback, as they grabbed eight of the next 13 points to trail 23-18. The Owls won the next two points, clinching the set on a kill by Black.

After Southern Connecticut State got off to a 11-5 lead to open the third set, Saint Michael's pulled back to trail 12-10. The Owls went on a 6-2 run to widen their lead to 18-12, and the Purple Knights had a 7-1 run of their own to deadlock the set at 19 apiece on Dunne's second straight ace. Peterka's killed put the visitors ahead, 25-24, before three straight kills gave Southern Connecticut State the victory in the set. Both teams won six of the opening 12 points to start the fourth stanza. The Owls went on a 16-4 run to take a 22-10 lead before grabbing three of the next six points to win the match.

Saint Michael's is in action again on Tuesday when it returns home to face Southern New Hampshire University at 7 p.m.