Purple Knights fall in five sets for fourth time, drop 3-2 decision at Pace

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team led late before succumbing to Pace University, 3-2 (25-17, 19-25, 23-25, 25-14, 15-11), on Friday in the Goldstein Fitness Center. The Purple Knights lost in five sets for the fourth time this fall in slipping to 10-15 overall and 2-12 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Setters are 15-17 and 9-5.

Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) posted a double-double with 16 kills and 17 digs, while classmate Tracy Peterka (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) also notched double figures behind 11 kills and 17 digs. Junior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) had nine kills, and first-year Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) turned in nine kills and 21 digs. Junior Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) totaled 46 assists, while senior Courtney Dunne (Hopkinton, Mass./Bancroft School) had 25 digs.

Senior Nora Rugova (Mount Kisco, N.Y./Fox Lane) led all players with 23 kills for Pace while adding 13 digs, and classmate Tamilee Webb (Hartsdale, N.Y./Ardsley) totaled 12 kills and six blocks. Senior Elyse Rowland's (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) 38 digs were a match high, and sophomore Brooke Speyerer (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) had 55 assists, 14 digs and five blocks.

In the opening set, Walsh's kill closed her team's prior six-point deficit to 18-16 before the Setters scored seven of the final eight points. In the second set, Saint Michael's led 5-4 before pushing its edge to 14-7 on junior Lindsay Phenix's (Tewksbury, Mass./Central Catholic) kill. Pace closed the gap to 18-16, but the Purple Knights put together a 7-3 run, capped by a Peterka kill at set point. The hosts pushed out to a 7-2 advantage in the third set and still led 15-12 prior to Saint Michael's scoring seven of the next eight points to forge ahead, 19-16. Pace drew within one point only once, at 24-23, before Peterka's kill ended the set.

The hosts blew open a 6-6 fourth set with a 12-2 run to force the decisive final stanza. There, the Purple Knights scored the first two points and led by one point on three additional occasions before the Setters rallied and pulled ahead 11-8. After Flaherty's kill produced a 13-11 score, Webb recorded a kill and an ace on consecutive points to end the match.

Saint Michael's completes its season tomorrow at Adelphi University, which is ranked second in the latest NCAA East Region poll. The match begins at 1 p.m.