PREVIEW: Volleyball set for NE10 Championship quarterfinal at Bentley

 

MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College volleyball team has earned the No. 6 seed in the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Volleyball Championship and will travel to No. 3 seed Bentley University in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in a 7 p.m. start at Bentley's Dana Center.

LINKS: NE10 Championship Release NE10 Championship Central

Saint Anselm finished the regular season with a 15-11 overall record and went 8-6 in NE10 conference play to secure its second-straight postseason berth. Quarterfinal opponent Bentley earned the No. 3 seed after posting a 10-4 mark in the NE10 and was 19-9 overall in the regular season.

The Hawks finished the regular season in a four-way tie with Stonehill, Southern Connecticut and Pace for the final four spots in the postseason. Stonehill and Saint Anselm had 2-1 records in the mini-conference between the four teams, with the Skyhawks securing the No. 5 seed by virtue of a head-to-head win over the Hawks. Southern Connecticut earned the No. 7 seed thanks to a head-to-head win over Pace after both were 1-2 in the mini-conference.

Other quarterfinal matchups include No. 8 Pace at No. 1 New Haven, No. 7 Southern Connecticut at No. 2 American International and No. 5 Stonehill at No. 4 Adelphi. The winner of the quarterfinal between Saint Anselm and Bentley will face either Southern Connecticut or American International in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 17 at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Per NE10 regulations, admission will be charged for all postseason contests. Tickets for adults will be $6.00 with children and senior citizens (65+) priced at $4.00. Students who present a valid ID from an NE10-member institution will be admitted for $1.00. All-sport passes from the NE10 are valid for postseason contests.

Bentley will be providing live video and live stats for the match. You can also follow @STAHawks on Twitter and Instagram for live updates throughout the match.

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM

  • Saint Anselm is the top-hitting team in the NE10 this season, pacing the conference with a .215 attack percentage, which would rank second in program history for any single season. Sophomore middle Madison Sollows ranks third in the league with a .345 attack percentage, while freshman middle Holly Manchester (16th, .224) and senior middle Amanda Williams (20th, .214) also rank in the top 20.
  • The Hawks rank third in the NE10 in service aces per set (1.78), led by senior outside hitter Katy Teets' league-best mark of 0.52, which is the 13th-best per-set average in the nation.
  • Teets and fellow outside hitter Catherine McCarthy both rank in the conference's top-20 in kills per set. Teets, who became the third student-athlete in program history to hit the 1,000-kill milestone on Saturday, ranks 10th (2.97), while McCarthy, a sophomore, sits 20th (2.51). Teets is also sixth in the conference in points per set (3.7).
  • Junior setter Jewel Hays boasts the fourth-best assists-per-set mark in the NE10 (9.21) and ranks third all-time at Saint Anselm with 2,516 career assists.
  • Defensively, senior defensive specialist Danielle Isbell leads the Hawks with 3.91 digs per set, while Hays (2.56) and Teets (2.43) also have over 200 digs for the season. Manchester paces Saint Anselm in solo blocks (10), block assists (71), total blocks (81) and blocks per set (0.92), while ranking in a tie for fourth in the NE10 on a per-set basis.
  • Saint Anselm was ranked No. 8 in the East Region in the second set of NCAA Regional rankings, which were released on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The rankings are used by the NCAA to determine the field for the NCAA Tournament.
  • Saint Anselm's 35 combined victories over the last two seasons are the most in consecutive years for the program since 1999 and 2000 (37 wins). The Hawks are also making back-to-back appearances in the league's postseason for the first time since the 2003 and 2004 campaigns.

SCOUTING BENTLEY

  • Bentley enters the NE10 Tournament on a three-match winning streak, culminating in a five-set victory over Adelphi in its regular season finale on Saturday. The Falcons are 11-3 on their home court this season and the team's 19 victories match the 2014 squad for the most wins by a Bentley team since 2008.
  • The Falcons came in one spot behind the Hawks at No. 9 in the NCAA East Region rankings released on Nov. 8.
  • Bentley sits fourth in the NE10 in attack percentage (.202), thanks largely to sophomore middle Rachel Bruno, who leads the league in the category at .372. Senior middle McKenna Buck (12th, .240) and sophomore outside hitter Dani Milner (17th, .222) are also inside the NE10's top-20.
  • Milner's average of 3.41 kills per set leads Bentley and is fifth-best in the conference, making her the lone Falcon in the NE10's top-20. The sophomore has 19 double-digit kill performances this season in 28 matches.
  • Sophomore Xio Lopp and junior Krista Campbell have split setting duties for Bentley, combining for 969 assists this season. Lopp leads the Falcons in assists (534), while Campbell averages a team-best 9.89 assists per set.
  • For the second-straight year, senior defensive specialist Celia Cristofoli has approached the 500-dig mark, pacing the Falcons with 471 for the season. She ranks fifth in the NE10 in digs per set (4.71). Milner and senior outside hitter Shannon Kelly each contribute 3.23 digs per set as well.
  • Buck and Bruno both rank among the NE10's top 10 in blocks per set, with Bruno sitting sixth (0.91) and Buck eighth (0.82). As a team, Bentley is third in the conference in the category (2.09).
  • Bentley is making its record 35th appearance in the NE10 Volleyball Championship in the 37th year of the tournament. The Falcons own 12 NE10 regular season championships (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2014) and nine NE10 Tournament titles (1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2005). 

NE10 TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Saint Anselm is in search of its first-ever victory in the NE10 Volleyball Championship. The Hawks are 0-12 all-time in nine appearances in the tournament and have lost both postseason encounters with Bentley. The Falcons swept the Hawks in the 1993 and 1998 editions of the NE10 Volleyball Championship.

ALL-TIME VS. BENTLEY

Prior to this season, Bentley had won all 30 previous meetings with Saint Anselm in the series that dates back to Sept. 14, 1993, dropping just eight sets in the process. The Hawks flipped the script this season by winning both regular-season meetings with the Falcons in Manchester. Saint Anselm bounced back after dropping the first set at the Hawks Invitational on Sept. 9 to record a four-set win and swept the Falcons in the NE10 match between the two teams on Sept. 26.

2017 NE10 Volleyball Championship Schedule

Tuesday, November 14th 
Quarterfinals ­at Higher Seeds
Match 1: #8 Pace at #1 New Haven | 7:00 p.m.
Match 2: #7 Southern Connecticut at #2 American International | 7:00 p.m.
Match 3: #6 Saint Anselm at #3 Bentley | 7:00 p.m.
Match 4: #5 Stonehill at #4 Adelphi | 7:00 p.m.

Friday, November 17th
Semifinals - at highest remaining seed following the quarterfinal matches
Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 4 winner ­| 5:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
Match 6: Match 2 winner vs. Match 3 ­ winner | 5:00 pm or 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 18th   
Championship ­ 
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner | 5:00 p.m.