Women's Volleyball Continues Challenging Run, Falls to Defending NE10 Champion

Women's Volleyball Continues Challenging Run, Falls to Defending NE10 Champion

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team continued a challenging three-match stretch against 2018 NCAA Tournament qualifiers with a 3-0 (25-9, 25-17, 25-15) loss to Southern Connecticut State University during Northeast-10 Conference play in the Ross Sports Center on Friday evening. The Owls not only qualified for their second straight NCAA Tournament last year but won the NE10 Championship.

RECORDS

  • Saint Michael's (1-15, 0-8 NE10), Southern Connecticut State (11-13, 4-4 NE10)

SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS

  • First-year Sarah Scott (Granby, Mass./MacDuffie School), 8 kills, 1 ace, 12 digs
  • Sophomore Grace Fornabia (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Central Catholic), 6 kills
  • First-year Brigid Heinrich (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill), 4 kills
  • First-year London Starley (Sandy, Ore./Sandy), 24 assists, 1 ace, 8 digs
  • Senior Tanner Barton (Hudson Falls, N.Y./Hudson Falls), 1 ace, 6 digs
  • Sophomore Jaeden Cruz (Makakilo, Hawaii/Saint Francis School), 6 digs

OPPONENT LEADERS

  • First-year Gabriela Gaibur, 11 kills, .524 hitting, 7 digs
  • First-year Ella White, 8 kills, .800 hitting
  • Junior Abigail Epstein, 7 kills, 3 aces, 7 blocks
  • Senior Tea Carter, 34 assists
  • Senior Anna Venard, 4 aces, 10 digs

MATCH FACTS

  • Southern Connecticut State won the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Championship to qualify for its second straight NCAA Tournament.
  • The Purple Knights played their second contest in a three-match run against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams.
  • Saint Michael's plays at home twice between Friday and Saturday, exceeding its home schedule over the past 33 days combined.

THE ACTION

  • Three aces by Venard and three kills from White keyed the Owls' 13-1 start in the opening set, as the hosts never again trailed by fewer than 11 points.
  • Heinrich's two early kills helped the Purple Knights go ahead 4-1 in set No. 2 and continue to lead 9-7 after Fornabia and Scott dropped consecutive kills. Epstein's ace capped a 4-0 response, but the hosts rallied to tie twice, including at 13-13 on junior Jillian Harvie's (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) kill. Junior Ariel Letcher notched two kills in a 3-0 run before Scott's kill had Saint Michael's down just 17-16, but Gaibur turned in five kills during a closing 8-1 run.
  • The Owls forged a 7-1 lead in the third set, but Harvie and junior Molly Clarke (Barkhamsted, Conn./Northwestern Regional) collected kills in a 3-0 rally. Southern Connecticut State began pulling away on the strength of a 10-2 run before a 6-1 swing in the Purple Knights' favor, thanks to two kills and an ace from Scott, made it 20-14. The visitors closed the match with five of the final six points.

NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S MATCH

  • Saturday vs. the University of New Haven, 1 p.m.
  • The Chargers were the top seed in last year's NCAA East Regional Tournament.