NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team was stunned by the Warriors from Merrimack College on Wednesday, dropping a five-set match to the hosts on Hammel Court.
The Hawks fall to 9-7 overall on the season, dropping three out of their first four Northeast-10 Conference matches to open the 2018 season. Merrimack, who lost to Saint Anselm in straight sets earlier in the year, moves to 4-12 overall and to 2-2 against conference opponents.
Saint Anselm, who fell via set scores of 21-25, 25-22, 27-25, 20-25 and 12-15, recorded a .290 hitting percentage in the match, the team's highest since Aug. 31, but committed 18 service errors and fell victim to 12 service aces by the Warriors.
Junior Catie McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) posted 16 kills for the Hawks, recording a double-double with 14 digs on defense. Senior Sarah Lowery (Chicago, Ill.) posted 13 kills with junior Madison Sollows (West Barnstable, Mass.) recording 11 kills on 27 swings. Sophomore Georgia DuMars (York, Pa.) had a career-high, setting personal bests with 57 assists and 15 digs.
Saint Anselm fell behind early in the first set and could not dig their way out, allowing Merrimack to build an 11-4 lead to force a Hawks timeout. Saint Anselm would end up hitting .379 in the opening set, helped by four kills from sophomore Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.), but Merrimack racked up 10 digs and three service aces in the 25-21 win.
The Hawks put forth an impressive rally in the second set, overcoming an 18-14 deficit to win by a 25-22 margin. Sophomore Holly Manchester (Lodi, Wisc.) and McCarthy each posted four kills on seven attacks with Jolly contributing with three kills and a block assist. Sollows also threw down three kills on four attacks, helping Saint Anselm hit .419 in the match-tying set.
Another late rally, this time in the third set, allowed Saint Anselm to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Trailing by a 23-21 score, Sollows sparked a 6-2 scoring run for the Hawks, who ended up capturing a 27-25 win. McCarthy had kills on two out of her team's final four points.
Merrimack commanded the fourth set from the very beginning, opening up a 10-4 lead and never looking back. The Hawks had only eight kills in the fourth set while Merrimack punished the Hawks with six service aces.
The fifth set went to Merrimack, who trailed by a 5-2 score but came back to break an 11-11 tie with four of the next five points of the set to capture the victory. Merrimack did not have an attacking error in the fifth set, receiving kills from six out of their seven student-athletes in the rotation.
The Warriors were led by a 19-kill performance from Sofia Basauri. Sydney Buran handed out 47 assists with Amanda Cain and Katelynn Marr posting 19 and 17 digs, respectively.
Saint Anselm will look to shake off the tough loss with a trip to Saint Michael's College on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.