Women's volleyball sweep pair of matches, Carpenter earns first coaching victories

Women's volleyball sweep pair of matches, Carpenter earns first coaching victories

EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team won twice on Saturday to close out its visit to Stonehill College's Skyhawks Invitational, downing Dominican (N.Y.) College, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-12), and Felician (N.J.) University, 3-0 (25-22, 25-10, 25-17). Junior McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) was named to the all-tournament team.

The Purple Knights improved to 2-1, garnering the initial victories of first-year head coach Jesse Carpenter's career while winning in Stonehill's Merkert Gymnasium for the first time since Oct. 11, 1993. Dominican slipped to 1-6 and Felician to 0-5.

In her team's first meeting with Dominican, sophomore Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) had a career-high 12 kills on 26 attacks, hitting .423, while adding seven digs, and junior Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) and first-year Allie Statile (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) both had seven kills. Senior Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) dished out 28 assists while dropping six kills on seven tries for an .857 success rate. Classmate Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) posted 21 digs and three aces, and junior Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) added nine digs.

Senior Cortney Yeoman had 10 kills for Dominican, classmate Kera Dexter notched 23 assists, 11 digs and three aces, and senior Angela Kim totaled 12 digs.

Down 11-8 in the first set, Saint Michael's rattled off four straight points to pull ahead before four ties ensued, and two kills by Priester sparked a 5-1 run to break open a 15-15 set. The Purple Knights trailed 6-4 in set No. 2 before Colasanti had a kill and an ace during a 5-0 run, which put her team in front for good. After the Chargers drew within 19-18, Ratte had three kills in a clinching 6-1 jaunt. Saint Michael's hit .500 in the third set, collecting 15 kills and no errors. Ahead by a slim 11-9 margin, the Purple and Gold scored 14 of the final 17 points, including the final eight, during which time Moore posted a pair of aces.

Versus Felician, against which Saint Michael's improved to 3-0 all time during their first meeting since 2009, McNamara swung .615 with nine kills and two solo blocks, and Priester collected nine kills while hitting .412. Ratte posted eight kills, seven digs and two aces, and first-year Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) had seven kills in two sets. Sophomore Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) turned in career highs of 33 assists and seven digs, and Moore contributed 23 digs and five assists. Colasanti had 11 digs, and senior Natalia Maccarrone (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) had two aces.

Sophomore Hannah Skendziel led the Golden Falcons with six kills, first-year Charlotte Greek handed out 15 assists, and sophomore Amanda Coccia totaled 12 digs.

After a 4-0 Purple Knight run in the opening set created a 10-6 lead, Felician scored the next five points, which first-year Lauren Mack capped with three straight aces. Seven ties ensued, with Statile, Ratte and Moore notching consecutive kills to snap an 18-all tie. Ahead by a narrow 23-22 margin, Saint Michael's received a dual block by Rodgers and Statile before Dean recorded the clinching kill. Dean had two more kills in a set-opening 5-0 run in the second contest, and the Purple Knights quickly led 11-2 en route to the sizeable win. Felician hit -.200 in the set, with three kills and nine errors. Saint Michael's used an 8-1 run to snap a 6-6 tie in set No. 3, during which Ratte had three straight kills in addition to an ace. The Purple Knights never again led by fewer than four points.

The Purple Knights break from action until heading to Middlebury College on Sept. 21 for a 7 p.m. match.