COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team rallied from one set down to force a fifth set during a season-ending 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 25-17, 20-25, 15-12) loss to The College of Saint Rose on Saturday during Senior Day at the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights ended their season 3-16 overall and 1-13 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Golden Knights finished up 11-15 and 6-8.
Junior Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) notched 14 kills for Saint Michael's, landing on 500 career kills and passing Sara Reney '11 (498) to take over 15th in program history. First-year Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) neared a double-double with 12 kills and nine digs, and sophomore Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) also posted 12 kills. First-year Allie Statile (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) collected nine kills and two blocks, while junior McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) added eight kills and three blocks, two of which were solo.
Senior Catie Weller (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) distributed 29 assists to go along with 13 digs and two aces, and sophomore Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) handed out 27 helpers. Weller finished her career with 1,844 assists, passing Val Phillips '01 (1,831) to take over fifth in program history on Saturday.
Senior Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) posted 39 digs to come within three of her three-year-old career high, and classmate Natalia Maccarrone (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) totaled 18 digs and two aces, also coming within three digs of a three-year-old career best. Junior Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) had 17 digs as Saint Michael's accumulated 110 on the day while ending the year with a school-record 20.2 per set. The Purple Knights are fourth in Division II in the category.
Moore, who is third in the nation in digs per set while leading the East Region and NE-10, finished her career with a school-record 1,873 digs, believed to be the 16th-highest total in the history of the NE-10, which began sponsoring the sport in the 1980s. The only player in school annals with four 400-dig seasons, Moore completed this fall with 444, the seventh-best figure in program history, as four of the top eight totals now belong to her. Maccarrone ended with 692 digs, good for 17th all time while falling just short of becoming the 16th Purple Knight with 700. Thanks to turning in two blocking assists, senior Megan Mulvaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) upped her career total to 107 and passed Lindsay Phenix '14 (106) for seventh in program history.
Senior Maryellen Devic notched 16 kills and 21 digs for Saint Rose, and classmate Erica Ziskin had 28 assists and nine digs. Senior Sammi Atchinson posted 25 digs.
The first set featured 10 ties but only one lead change. After going up 8-7 on Statile's kill, the Purple Knights saw the visitors go on a 7-1 run. Priester had two kills in a 4-0 response, and the hosts tied the score four times before still trailing just 21-20 on McNamara's kill, but four of the final five points came from Saint Rose, with Devic notching three kills.
Twelve more ties and six lead changes ensued in the second set, with Saint Michael's leading by as much as 9-4 before the Golden Knights rattled off a 9-2 run. After 4-0 runs were traded, so were 2-0 and 1-0 jaunts, and the hosts wiped out a 21-20 deficit when Priester dropped two kills in a 4-1 run. Consecutive attack errors knotted the set at 24, but Dean dropped a kill before Mulvaney and Statile combined on a clinching block.
Eleven of the first 13 points in set No. 3 came from Golden Knights, who led 19-7 and never again held an advantage of fewer than seven points. In a 7-7 fourth set, five Purple Knights had a kill and Weller dropped an ace during an 8-0 run. After three straight attack errors capped a 4-0 Saint Rose run that made it 21-19, the hosts netted four of the final five points, with Ratte and Statile combining on a final block that forced the fifth set.
In the fifth and final set, Saint Michael's scored the first two points on errors before Saint Rose put together a 4-1 run, but the Purple Knights went up 5-4 on McNamara's kill. Behind a 6-1 stretch, the Golden Knights led 10-6, but a 4-1 counter, keyed by a Maccarrone ace, produced an 11-10 margin. However, out of a timeout, the visitors clinched the match with four of the final six points.
Prior to the match, Maccarrone, Moore, Mulvaney, Weller and senior Tess Saburn (Basking Ridge, N.J./Mount Saint Mary Academy) were all honored during a Senior Day ceremony.