Volleyball splits pair to open season in Florida

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Saint Anselm College volleyball team opened its season by splitting a pair of matches on day one of the Nova Southeastern Shark Invitational, falling 3-0 to No. 7 Minnesota Duluth and sweeping Post University 3-0 on Friday at Rick Case Arena.

No. 7 Minnesota Duluth 3, Saint Anselm 0 | Box

Seventh-ranked Minnesota Duluth (2-0) hit over .350 in all three sets and .421 for the match to defeat Saint Anselm (1-1) by a 25-12, 25-13, 25-14 scoreline in the first match of the day for the Hawks. The match was the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Amanda Bickford tallied a team-high seven kills for Saint Anselm, while Madison Sollows added five. Freshman Holly Manchester pitched in with four kills on eight swings with a pair of block assists. Jewel Hays had 14 assists and a team-best eight digs for the Hawks.

Makenzie Morgen registered a match-high 13 kills on 18 swings to post a .556 kill percentage for Minnesota Duluth and also had eight digs. Kate Berg was the second Bulldog in double figures in kills with 11. Emily Torve notched 37 assists and nine digs for UMD, while Kelly Madison led the match with 11 digs.

Minnesota Duluth raced out to a 13-4 advantage midway through the first set before a mini-run by Saint Anselm got the Hawks within seven at 17-14. Morgen put an end to the 3-1 run with three-straight kills to stretch the Bulldogs' lead back to 10, as UMD took the opener 25-12.

In the second set, the Hawks stayed within touching distance of the Bulldogs until an 8-1 run put Minnesota Duluth on top 23-12 at the tail end of the set. Sollows and Manchester each had two kills early in the set for Saint Anselm prior to the UMD run.

Hays opened set three with an ace but that was the lone lead for the Hawks of the final set as the Bulldogs closed out the sweep. Later in the set, a Bickford kill led to a UMD timeout  with the Bulldogs up 15-10, but that was as close as Saint Anselm would get the rest of the way.

Saint Anselm 3, Post 0 | Box

Saint Anselm bounced back in its second match of the day, as Teets led the Hawks to a 25-12, 25-14, 25-23 victory over Post (1-1). The senior hammered 14 kills while hitting .393 and also tallied six aces, five digs and three blocks.

Teets was the lone Saint Anselm player in double figures in kills but the Hawks hit .342 as a team and held Post to a .103 clip in the sweep. The Hawks committed just one error in each of the first two sets and just eight in the match. Hays handed out 27 assists and freshman Rebecca Lai had a match-high 12 digs as the Hawks picked up their first win of the season.

It did not take long for Saint Anselm to take control early, as the Hawks won the first four points and eight of the first nine in the first set. Hays and Teets combined for three aces in the early stages and Saint Anselm led by at least six for the rest of the opening set, eventually taking it comfortably, 25-12.

Post raced out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and held the lead until Saint Anselm won four-straight points to go up 12-10 as part of an 8-1 run. Teets keyed the run with four kills and later hit a pair of aces as the Hawks stretched their lead to 20-12. Kills from Sollows and Hays closed out the second set, 25-14, to put Saint Anselm up two sets.

A run of five-straight points early in the third put the Hawks up 7-2. Trailing 11-5, the Eagles rallied with a 6-1 run to get within one, 12-11, but Saint Anselm maintained its lead by winning the next three points. Post put together five consecutive points later in the set to take an 18-16 lead and led 21-18 before the Hawks closed out the sweep by winning seven of the final nine points. Teets had three kills and an ace and Manchester added a pair of kills late on for the Hawks.

On day two of the tournament, Saint Anselm faces Tusculum at 2 p.m. and Lenoir-Rhyne at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2.