Women's volleyball rallies for second straight 3-2 victory, downs Assumption

Women's volleyball rallies for second straight 3-2 victory, downs Assumption

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team rallied for victory for the second time in less than 24 hours on Saturday, overcoming a one-set deficit to down Assumption College, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-9), in a Northeast-10 Conference meeting in Ross Sports Center. Saturday's contest marked the beginning of a seven-match run during which six contests occur at home.

The Purple Knights, who trailed by two sets on Friday night before completing a 3-2 win, improved to 10-6 overall and 3-3 in the league. The Greyhounds are 6-11 and 2-5. Saint Michael's has now won 10 of its last 12 meetings with Assumption, including seven straight at home.

Sophomore Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) posted a career-high 22 kills on .462 hitting for the Purple and Gold, while senior Candace Washington (New Carrollton, Md./Parkdale) had 17 kills and seven blocks while swinging at a .406 clip. Classmate Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) recorded 11 kills, including five in the decisive fifth set, to go along with nine digs. Junior Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) tallied 56 assists to come within four of the career high she set on Friday, adding eight digs.

Junior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) totaled 26 digs, classmate Megan Mulvaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) had nine kills, while sophomore Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) and junior Natalia Maccarrone (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) posted 14 and 10 digs, respectively.

Sophomore Olivia Burke led Assumption with 14 kills and four blocks, and senior Tara Reilly turned in 12 kills, five blocks and three aces. Sophomore Kiki Romanik totaled 50 assists and 10 digs, while three additional Greyhounds reached double digits in kills.

Washington collected a kill and a block during a match-opening 3-0 run, and Assumption was never able to draw even in the first set. The Purple Knights pushed their lead out to as many as five points while leading by no fewer than two points during the remainder of the frame, ultimately building upon a 21-19 lead with the final four points. Flaherty had two kills in the closing stretch.

Washington notched a pair of kills in an opening 5-2 stretch during the second set before the Greyhounds countered with the next five points, and neither team led by more than two points again until the visitors notched four straight to pull ahead 19-14. Saint Michael's never came closer than four points down the stretch. The teams stood tied at 17 during the third set for the 11th tie before Assumption scored the next six points to take control and nab a 2-1 edge in the match.

After nine early ties in set No. 4, Washington had two blocks in a 4-0 run that put the visitors in front, 14-10, but the Greyhounds forged back ahead at 18-17 on a Purple Knight error. Five ties and three lead changes ensued down the stretch. Burke's kill had the visitors up 23-21, and kills by Priester and Washington, which knotted the set, were met by first-year Kellie Smith's go-ahead kill. Assumption led 24-23 and served for the set, but Priester came up with back-to-back kills to put Saint Michael's in front, and an error by the Greyhounds accounted for the final point.

Washington totaled two blocks and a kill during a 5-0 run to begin the fifth set, while Mulvaney had a kill and a block, and Flaherty's kill gave the Purple Knights their largest lead, 13-6, after Assumption had crept within four points. A Burke kill and consecutive blocks again made it a three-point set, but Flaherty dropped kills for the 14th and 15th points.

The Purple Knights host a pair of matches next weekend, beginning on Friday against Southern Connecticut State University at 7 p.m.