WEST HAVEN, Conn. - Sophomore Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) became the 12th player in Saint Michael's College women's volleyball history to reach the 800-digs plateau on Friday as the Purple Knights fell to perennial regional power University of New Haven, 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 25-12), in Charger Gymnasium.
Saint Michael's moved to 5-13 overall and 0-11 in the Northeast-10 Conference but took a set from the Chargers, who have lost a total of only 13 sets while winning 19 of their last 20 matches. New Haven, which won four NE-10 Championships since joining the conference in 2008 and qualified for 28 of the past 31 NCAA Tournaments, is now 19-5 and 10-1.
Moore finished with a match-high-tying 20 digs to improve her career total to 804, coming within four of Val Phillips '01 (808) for 11th in program annals. Juniors Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) and Candace Washington (New Carrollton, Md./Parkdale) both led the Purple Knights with eight kills, with Flaherty adding four aces and Washington two blocks. First-year Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) had seven kills, and sophomore Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) dished out 31 assists while adding 10 digs.
Junior Kristen Lee (Colorado Springs, Colo./Liberty) posted 15 kills and 13 digs for the Chargers, and seniors Kristy Atufunwa (Denver, Colo./Denver East) and Margo Meteyer (Madison, Wis./Madison West) had 13 kills apiece. Classmate Kaulana Ane (Paia, Hawaii/Kamehameha) posted 47 assists, and junior Kea-Marie Olaso (Kailua, Hawaii/Le Jardin Academy) collected 20 digs.
Saint Michael's trailed just 15-10 in the opening set before New Haven pulled away with seven straight points, and the visitors chipped away at a quartet of three-point deficits in the second set to pull ahead by a 14-12 count on Flaherty's ace. After five ties ensued, the Chargers led 23-21 before Washington dropped a kill and joined sophomore Megan Mulvaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) on a set-tying block, and Flaherty posted a go-ahead ace before Mulvaney clinched the set on a kill, capping a 4-0 run. Saint Michael's led 13-12 in set No. 3, but the hosts used a 5-0 run to nab the lead for good, never again leading by fewer than three points. Mulvaney and first-year McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) combined on a block that brought the visitors within 10-7 in the fourth set before New Haven scored 15 of the final 20 points.
Saint Michael's heads to Southern Connecticut State University tomorrow for a 3:30 p.m. match.