Women's volleyball succumbs to late Pace comebacks in 3-2 loss

Women's volleyball succumbs to late Pace comebacks in 3-2 loss

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team succumbed to late rallies by Pace University during a 3-2 (22-25, 25-15, 28-30, 26-24, 15-13) loss on Friday evening in the Goldstein Fitness Center during Northeast-10 Conference action. The Purple Knights are 5-9 overall and 0-7 in the league, while the Setters are 4-14 and 1-5.

Junior Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) notched 17 kills, 16 digs and four aces, while classmate Candace Washington (New Carrollton, Md./Parkdale) had a career-high 17 kills to go along with three blocks. Sophomore Megan Mulvaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) recorded a career-best nine kills for the second straight match, while first-year Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) also had nine kills. Sophomore Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) had 48 assists and 20 digs, classmate Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) tallied 29 digs, and senior Hillary Miller (Plattsburgh, N.Y./Plattsburgh/Colby-Sawyer) had nine digs.

Five Pace players totaled between 13 and 10 kills, including first-year Sydney Lecker (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield), who led the way with 13 kills, 11 digs and four blocks. Junior Macey Danker (La Vista, Neb./Paillion La Vista/Redlands CC) posted 11 kills and 22 digs, classmate Sara Anastasi (Branchburg, N.J./Hunterdon Central) collected 28 assists, sophomore Miki Carver (Oceanside, Calif./Fallbrook) dished out 25 helpers, and classmate Samantha Marquez (Palmetto Bay, Fla./Miami Palmetto/Palm Beach State) tallied 19 digs.

Saint Michael's forged a 7-1 lead in the opening set before Pace countered with 13 of the next 18 points to take its first lead. Three ties ensued, with first-year Hanna Lesch (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) giving the Purple Knights the lead for good with a kill to make it 18-17. Washington dropped a kill to clinch the set. In set No. 2, the Setters went on a 9-1 run to snap a 3-all tie. Three straight points by the visitors were met by eight in a row by Pace, which never again led by fewer than nine points.

The Purple Knights broke a 4-4 third set with four straight points, with Moore notching an ace and an assist in the run, before the Setters rallied to square the score at 13, the first of nine ties down the stretch. Down 22-20, Saint Michael's scored four straight points, including two kills by Mulvaney, to reach set point before Pace scored the next three points to make it 25-24. The visitors ultimately fought off four straight set points, eventually knotting the score at 28 on a Setter service error before Mulvaney and Flaherty posted back-to-back kills to clinch the set.

Down 14-10 in the fourth set, Saint Michael's received two kills apiece from Flaherty and Washington in a 5-0 run before Pace scored four straight to nab an 18-15 edge. From there, the visitors scored eight of the next nine points to come within two points of taking the match. However, Pace ended the set on a 7-1 run to knot the match.

Saint Michael's led 10-4 in the fifth set thanks to three kills by Washington and two aces from Flaherty before Pace strung together seven straight points, and nine of 10 to pull ahead by a 13-11 count. An ensuing Lesch kill was followed by a Setter attack error, which tied the set, but Danker and Lecker posted kills on the next two points to end the match.

The Purple Knights complete a two-match road weekend in New York tomorrow at regional power Adelphi University at 1 p.m. The Panthers qualified for the last seven NCAA Tournaments.