Volleyball sweeps SNHU after five-set thriller

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College volleyball team rallied from 5-0 down in the decider to edge Southern New Hampshire University 22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13 and sweep the regular-season series with the Penmen on Tuesday evening at SNHU Fieldhouse.

Box Score

After trailing 5-0 early in the fifth set, Saint Anselm (7-4, 2-0 NE10) built a 14-9 advantage before Southern New Hampshire (2-6, 0-1 NE10) won four-straight point to close the gap to a single point. However, the Hawks finished off their second consecutive regular-season sweep over their Queen City Cup rival when a SNHU serve went just long to end the match.

Saint Anselm has now won the last four meetings in the series after the Penmen won six-straight from 2013-15. The win was also the fifth in a row for the Hawks this season and its second over the Penmen in the last eight days.

Catherine McCarthy, Madison Sollows, Katy Teets and Amanda Williams carried the load offensively for Saint Anselm, accounting for 48 of the team's 50 kills on the night. McCarthy had 13 kills and eight digs, Sollows tallied 12 kills and five block assists while hitting .435, Teets recorded a double-double of 12 kills and 15 digs and Williams added 11 kills and six total blocks with a .333 attack percentage.

Jewel Hays registered 40 assists and 11 digs for the Hawks, who hit .175 but had 13 blocks in the win. Danielle Isbell matched her career-high with 24 digs for her fourth 20-plus dig performance of the year.

Marisa Coronis hammered 24 kills and added 15 digs for a double-double for Southern New Hampshire. Priscila Castro pitched in with nine kills, five aces and 24 digs to match Isbell's total. Jessica Dillon had a double-double of 43 assists and 14 digs, while Kathleen Schurman and Shaira Sanabria combined for 28 digs for the Penmen.

The Hawks led all the way in the first set and by as many as four, 17-13, until the Penmen took the lead at 21-20. Sollows recorded a kill and an ace on the next two points to put Saint Anselm back on top, but the Penmen won the final four points to take the opener. SNHU hit .286 in the first set, its best of any set in the match.

Neither team led by more than two in the second set until Saint Anselm won three-straight points to go ahead 20-17. After SNHU got the next point, McCarthy had three kills late in the set to help the Hawks even the match at a set apiece. The Hawks hit .393 and did not commit an error in the second set.

Saint Anselm started the third set quickly, racing out to an 8-1 lead early on. After a SNHU timeout, the Penmen mounted a rally and eventually took an 18-16 lead after winning eight consecutive points. Down 20-18, the Hawks closed the see-saw third set on a 7-2 run, as Sollows had two kills and was in on a pair of blocks in the final five points.

The Hawks took a 15-9 lead midway through the fourth set looking to close out the match. However, the Penmen used a 9-1 run to take an 18-16 lead, only for Sollows to even it up with back-to-back kills. As Saint Anselm did in the third, SNHU won seven of the final nine points in the fourth to send the match the distance.

The Penmen continued the momentum early in the fifth, winning the first five points on the serve of Amanda Costales. The Hawks responded by taking the next five points to erase the 5-0 deficit as part of a 9-1 run. Ahead 9-7, Saint Anselm extended its lead to 14-9 to bring up five match points. It took all five as the Penmen won the next four points to get within one before a Castro serve sailed just over the back line to end the match.

Saint Anselm, which is tied atop the NE10 standings with Southern Connecticut State University at 2-0 in league play, travels to Merrimack on Thursday, Sept. 21 for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Warriors.