COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) broke the Saint Michael's College women's volleyball program's record for career digs during the Purple Knights' 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-16) loss to American International College on Saturday in the Ross Sports Center. Saint Michael's slipped to 3-11 overall and 1-8 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Yellow Jackets are 20-5 and 7-3.
Moore, who entered the match first in the NE-10 and second in NCAA Division II in digs per set, registered 17 digs to improve her career total to 1,741, surpassing Stephanie Smetana '09 (1,733) for the top spot in program annals. Moore's record breaker came early in the second set.
During her team's first match in a week, and initial contest in the Ross Sports Center since Oct. 18, sophomore Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) led Saint Michael's with seven kills, and junior McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) added five. Senior Megan Mulvaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) produced four kills on .364 hitting in addition to notching two blocks, matching Samantha Clairemont '13 for ninth in program history with 96 blocking assists.
Sophomore Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) totaled 12 assists and nine digs, senior Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) also notched a dozen helpers, and classmate Natalia Maccarrone (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) contributed nine digs.
Sophomore Diva Rivas paced AIC with 13 kills on .429 hitting to go along with four blocks, and senior Lauren Pires swung at .467 behind seven kills in addition to totaling four blocks. Classmate Caitlin Sobolewski hit .385 with five kills and four blocks, while sophomore Dolores Kopren had 30 assists and four aces. Junior Mercy Rivera accumulated 16 digs and four aces.
A Mulvaney kill knotted the opening set at three before Pires had two kills and a block in an ensuing 5-0 run. First-year Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) dropped a kill to keep Saint Michael's within four, at 11-7, but the Yellow Jackets opened up a 12-point advantage with an 11-3 run, as Rivas provided two kills and three blocks, and never again led by fewer than nine points.
Both teams collected nine kills in the second set, but AIC hit .300 and committed no errors. Rivas totaled two kills during an opening 5-0 stretch, and the Purple Knights crept within four points five times and were only down 14-8 following Ratte's kill. The visitors pulled away on the strength of a 5-0 run during which time Rivera had two aces. Kopren's ace clinched the set and a 2-0 lead.
In set No. 3, Saint Michael's trailed 4-1 on junior C.J. Almaraz's ace before twice coming within one, on Mulvaney's solo block to make it 4-3 and on a McNamara kill that created a 5-4 margin. Five players notched kills, including three by Rivas, during AIC's ensuing 11-3 run, and the hosts never again trailed by less than seven.
The Purple Knights play their next three matches on the road, beginning by heading to Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Ravens qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament.