EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team lost to Stonehill College, 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 34-32), on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference play in Merkert Gymnasium. The Purple Knights are 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the league, while the Skyhawks improved to 7-5 and 2-1, moving to 7-2 in their last nine outings.
During her team's only match between Sept. 25 and Oct. 11, sophomore Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) tallied nine kills and 11 digs. First-years Allie Statile (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) and Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) notched six and five kills, respectively. Sophomore Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) had 23 assists in her first career start of an NE-10 match.
Senior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) recorded 17 digs to reach 1,600 for her career. Moore entered the weekend leading all NCAA players at Divisions I, II and III in digs per set (7.33) and was 16th among active Division II players in digs. Classmate Natalia Maccarrone (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) added nine digs.
Sophomore Allyson Hughes recorded a match-high 15 kills for Stonehill, and junior Katherine DeLanty posted 10 kills on 17 attacks for a .588 hitting percentage. She added three blocks. Senior Taylor Stevens handed out 38 assists, and junior Claire Manuszak totaled 14 digs.
A 5-0 run during which Stonehill committed four attack errors and Dean notched a kill made it 5-1 in favor of the visitors during the opening set, but the hosts countered with the next five points, and the teams were not separated by multiple points again until a 3-0 run by the Skyhawks snapped a 10-all tie. Statile kicked off a 3-0 run with a kill, and the Purple Knights rallied for a 15-15 deadlock, but the hosts scored the final 10 points, with sophomore Megan Pennino picking up two kills and a block.
Stevens had two aces in a 6-0 run that put the hosts up 6-1 in set No. 2, and Saint Michael's continued to trail by at least four points until making a go-ahead run mid-set. With the visitors facing a 12-5 deficit, they put together a 13-5 stretch, as Ratte had three kills, and Dean's kill gave the Purple Knights their first lead, 18-17. However, Stonehill countered with eight of the final nine points, as DeLanty collected two kills and a block.
The third set featured 14 ties, including a dozen between the time the teams stood deadlocked at 21 and the end of the match. Stonehill led by four points on four occasions, including at 20-16, before Ratte's kill sparked a go-ahead 7-2 run, which she capped with an ace. However, consecutive errors gave the Skyhawks a 24-23 edge and a serve for the match, but Rodgers dropped a kill, and the teams played on through nine additional set points. The visitors led by one point four more times, including on kills by Statile and junior Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) to create 27-26 and 28-27 margins, respectively, before the hosts erased a 32-31 deficit with consecutive kills from Pennino, Stevens and junior Marykay Nasby to cap the epic set.
The third set was the highest-scoring set for the Purple Knights in the era of 25-point sets, which the NCAA adopted in 2008, as Saint Michael's and its opponent last netted this many points in a 35-33 first-set triumph over Holy Family University on Sept. 9, 2006. The last time both teams reached 30 points in a Saint Michael's match was during the third set on Nov. 4, 2011, with Pace University claiming a 32-30 decision.
Saint Michael's returns home to take on Southern New Hampshire University on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.