NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Saint Anselm College volleyball team clinched the No. 8 seed in the upcoming Northeast 10 Conference Tournament despite a 3-2 loss to the league-leading Chargers of the University of New Haven 3-2 on Saturday afternoon. It was the regular season finale for both squads.
The Hawks, who have now qualified for the league's postseason championship three straight years, finish the regular season with a 16-11 overall record and a 7-7 in league play. The Chargers, who clinched the top seed of the conference tournament, improve to 25-4 and 13-1 in league play.
The two teams will square off again on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in the conference Championship Quarterfinal in West Haven, Conn. at 7 p.m.
The Hawks were led by junior Catie McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) who finished with 17 kills and 16 digs. Senior Sarah Lowery (Chicago, Ill.) and junior Madison Sollows (West Barnstable, Mass.) each had 12 kills while Lowery added 10 digs. Senior Jewel Hays (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) had 51 assists to go along with seven digs.
The Hawks built a 4-0 lead in the first set and Saint Anselm built an early 8-5 lead. It was again a back and forth battle but the Hawks were able to hold onto a 12-8 lead. The Hawks lead grew to as large as eight, 19-11. The Chargers cut their deficit to four, 20-16, but the Hawks held on for a 25-20 victory.
The second set was in favor of the hosts. The teams went back and forth before the Chargers took a five-point edge of 13-8, their largest lead of the set. The Hawks kept battling, getting as close as 14-11. However, the Chargers used a strong final run and took the set 25-15.
Tied at three to open the third, the Hawks rattled off five straight points to build an 8-3 advantage thanks to errors by New Haven. After the Chargers climbed back into the set, Saint Anselm went on a run to build a 16-11 lead. When the Chargers again pulled close, Saint Anselm pulled away and took a 20-15 lead. New Haven cut the Hawks lead to 24-21, but the Hawks were able to close out the set with a kill.
In the fourth set, the Chargers built a lead but could not pull away as the set was tied at six. Again the home team went ahead, but the Hawks would not give in as they trailed 12-10. However, New Haven was able to take a 18-14 lead and eventually took the set set 25-19, forcing a decisive fifth set.
In the final set, Saint Anselm built a 3-1 lead but the Chargers battled back to tie the score at five. A back-and-forth battle led to an 11-11 tie. From there, the Chargers recored two straight points to take a 13-11 lead. The teams then traded points, but New Haven closed out the match with a kill from Kristine Rios to secure the 15-13 win.