COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team won the opening set against Saint Anselm College, which entered the night third in the Northeast-10 Conference, before falling by a 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17) final on Tuesday evening in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights slipped to 3-8 overall and 1-5 in the league, while the Hawks moved to 16-4 and 6-1.
Junior Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) matched her season highs with 14 kills and seven digs, and sophomore Mairin King (Melrose, Mass./Mystic Valley Regional Charter School) totaled eight kills. Junior McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) had seven kills and three blocks, and sophomore Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) notched 24 assists, seven digs and two aces. Senior Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) added 11 helpers and seven digs.
Senior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) paced her squad with 27 digs to go along with four assists, and first-year Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) collected a career-high 18 digs. Junior Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) turned in 11 digs, as Saint Michael's posted 90 to average 22.5 per set, exceeding their Division II-leading average of 20.9. Moore, the national leader at 6.91 per set, pushed her career figure to 1,691 digs, closing in on Stephanie Smetana's '09 program mark of 1,733.
First-year Catherine McCarthy notched 13 kills and 15 digs for Saint Anselm, junior Katy Teets had 11 kills and three aces, while classmate Amanda Williams turned in 11 kills and five blocks. Sophomore Jewel Hays handed out 47 assists with 13 digs, and senior CC Chrisom totaled 28 digs.
Saint Michael's slowly built upon a 7-6 lead with an 11-4 run during the first set, with senior Megan Mulvaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) notching two kills in that time, and the hosts' 18-10 lead was their largest. A 6-3 stretch by the Hawks made it 23-19, but a service error and Rodgers' kill closed the set.
Saint Anselm was up 6-5 in the second set before first-year Madison Sollows had two kills in a 3-0 run, and the visitors never again led by fewer than three points. After trailing by as many as seven points, the Purple Knights edged within three three times, including at 21-18, but the Hawks rattled off four of the final five points.
After seven early ties in set No. 3, an attack error put Saint Michael's up 13-10 before Williams had a kill and two blocks during a 5-0 stretch, kicking off what ultimately became a 9-2 run. The hosts trimmed their deficit to two on three occasions, including at 23-21, but the Hawks scored the last two points.
The Hawks grabbed a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and extended their advantage to 12-6 on Teets' kill, but Priester posted three kills in a 5-1 response. Rodgers' ace kept the Purple Knights within 18-15 before Saint Anselm ended the match with seven of the final nine points.
The Purple Knights hit the road for two matches this weekend, beginning on Friday at Southern Connecticut State University at 7 p.m.