Volleyball caps home stand with straight-set win over Merrimack

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team wrapped up a five-game home stretch of contests with a tidy 3-0 victory (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) over the visiting Warriors from Merrimack College on Thursday.

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The Hawks, winners of four out of five on their most recent stay in Stoutenburgh Gymnasium, improve to 9-4 following the non-league tilt. Merrimack has lost six-straight matches, falling to 2-8 overall on the season.

Sophomore Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) turned in a solid performance offensively, providing 10 kills on 19 errorless swings. Sophomore Georgia DuMars (York, Pa.) dished out a career-best 24 assists while senior Jewel Hays (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) had 14 of her own. Senior Amy Stankiewicz (Andover, Mass.) had a career-high nine digs, matching the defensive output of freshman Nique D'Ancona (Larkspur, Calif.).

Merrimack sprinted out to an 8-7 lead in the first set before the Hawks rattled off four of the set's next five points, using a service ace from junior Catie McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) and a kill from Hays to fuel the rally. The Warriors limited the Hawks lead to three, 21-18, late in the set but Jolly picked up two kills in the last three Saint Anselm points of the set to ensure a 1-0 lead.

With the score tied at 18 in the second set, Saint Anselm pulled away with a kill from senior Kate Peters (Prescott, Ariz.) and didn't look back, adding two additional points off of Merrimack attacking errors to build a three-point lead. Sophomore Holly Manchester (Lodi, Wisc.) and Jolly had back-to-back kills to end the set.

DuMars served her team to a 4-0 lead in the third set as Jolly, Lowery and Manchester each had kills, the former having the first and the last kill of the four-point run. At one point in the third set, Jolly had three-straight service aces to build up a 20-14 lead for the Hawks, but the Warriors had an upset in mind.

Losers of their last 17 sets, Merrimack came back with a furious rally, earning nine out of the next 12 points to tie the match at 23. The Warriors rally fell just short as a kill from Manchester and a DuMars service ace at match point propelled Saint Anselm to the straight-set victory.

Catherine Flaherty led Merrimack with seve kills. Rosie Sperduto had 23 assists and a team-best 13 digs.