WALTHAM, Mass. - In its return to action for the first time in a week, the Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team lost at Bentley University, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22), on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference play at the Dana Center. The Purple Knights are now 8-6 overall and 1-3 in the league, while the Falcons improved to 11-6 and 4-1.
Senior Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) led the visitors with six kills and seven digs, while sophomore Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) posted six kills and two blocks. Classmate McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) turned in four kills and two blocks, and senior Candace Washington (New Carrollton, Md./Parkdale) had three blocks to become the fourth Purple Knight with 200 for a career, landing exactly at 200. Junior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) contributed a match-high 17 digs.
Junior Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) tallied seven assists, six digs and two aces, while first-year Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) had seven helpers, five digs and one ace in less than one full set of action. Sophomore Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) posted 12 digs.
Senior Jaci Buscher had 10 kills and 13 digs for Bentley, and sophomore Shannon Kelly notched 10 kills and three aces. First-year Krista Campbell dished out 24 assists while adding four aces, and senior Jessica Segal posted 11 digs.
Flaherty's back-to-back kills capped a five-point run that gave Saint Michael's a 5-1 edge early in the opening set, and the visitors later pushed their lead to 11-4 on a kill from McNamara. Bentley responded with a tying 13-6 run, downing seven kills and two aces in the stretch, and ultimately knotting the score at 17 on Campbell's ace. After the teams swapped points, the Purple Knights forged ahead with a 4-0 run to snag a 22-18 advantage, but Kelly notched consecutive kills to kick off a set-ending 7-1 run. Saint Michael's still led 23-21 before the Falcons collected the last four points, with Kelly recording four kills total in the clinching stretch. It was the Purple Knights' sixth consecutive set loss decided by two points.
In set No. 2, neither team led by more than two points until Bentley pulled away mid-set. After junior Natalia Maccarrone's (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) ace accounted for the seventh tie of the set, 12-12, the Falcons rattled off the next seven points, with Kelly notching a kill and two aces, and the hosts pushed their lead to 24-14. Priester posted a kill and a block during a 4-0 run that carried Saint Michael's within 24-18, but senior Shelby Kreienberg's kill clinched the set for the hosts.
Thirteen ties and eight lead changes ensued in the third set, with neither team leading by more than three points until the late stages. After a 3-0 run gave Bentley an 18-17 edge, a Falcon service error and a Priester kill put the Purple Knights in front, and the teams traded points to allow Saint Michael's continue to lead, 20-19. However, two kills by senior Stephanie Metzger and four miscues by the visitors occurred during a 6-2 run that closed out the match.
The Purple Knights break until next Friday, when they head to Saint Anselm College for a 7 p.m. match.