PREVIEW: Women's volleyball to tangle with New Haven in NCAA East Region Quarterfinals

MANCHESTER, N.H. – After securing an at-large bid to its second-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, the eighth-seeded Saint Anselm College volleyball team returns to the University of New Haven to face the top-seeded Chargers in the Quarterfinals of the 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship's East Regional on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.

The meeting between the two squads will be the third in the last 12 days. 

LINKS: East Regional Tournament CentralInteractive NCAA Bracket NCAA Tournament Field Release

Saint Anselm earned an at-large bid to its second straight East Regional after compiling a 17-12 overall record in 2018 and 7-7 in Northeast-10 Conference play. It was the third-consecutive winning season for the Hawks, who advanced to the 2018 NE10 Volleyball Championship Semifinal's after shocking the top-seeded Chargers of New Haven in the quarterfinals. Saint Anselm was downed by Southern Connecticut State University in the semifinals, which went on to win the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Championship.

For the Chargers the season concluded with at 25-5 overall record and a 13-1 conference record, finishing as the NE10 regular season champions. New Haven has hosted the East Region Championship 19 times, including for the second-straight season. 

Other quarterfinal matchups include No. 3 Daemen versus No. 6 American International, No. 2 Adelphi and No. 7 Southern Connecticut State and No. 4 Molloy taking on No. 5 Holy Family. A full match schedule for the entire regional for each match can be found below. The winner of the tilt between the Hawks and Chargers will face either Adelphi or Southern Connecticut State in Friday evening's first semifinal at 5 p.m. 

Tickets for the 2018 NCAA Division II East Region Volleyball Championship will go on sale 60 minutes prior to the first match each day. All ticket sales will take place at the Box Office located in the lobby of Charger Gymnasium. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. The ticket prices, payable with cash only, includes admission for one day of competition. 

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM: 

  • The Hawks have now made their second consecutive appearance in the Division II NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship's regional.
  • Saint Anselm reached the conference semifinals for the second-straight season after sweeping New Haven in the opening round of the tournament.
  • Saint Anselm was fourth in the league with 1,411 total kills and fifth in the NE10 with a 12.94 kills per set average. The 12.10 assists per set average was also third in the conference along with being fourth with 204 service aces.
  • Offensively, All-NE10 Second Team selection junior Catie McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) led the team with a 3.23 kills per set average and led the team with 342 total kills. Senior Sarah Lowery (Chicago, Ill.) was second on the team with 2.61 kills per set. 
  • Third Team All-Conference selection junior Madison Sollows (West Barnstable, Mass.) was also an offensive force in the league. Her .372 hitting percentage was the best in the NE10 in 29 matches. Sophomore Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) is second on the team with a .292 hitting percentage and third on the squad with 2.52 kills per set. She is second on the team with 36 aces.
  • Second Team All-Conference selection senior Jewel Hays (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) has had a stellar year. She holds the program record with 3,694 career assists. She surpassed the previous record holder Kathleen McCarthy '07 on Oct. 13 at home against Saint Rose and became only the third student-athlete in program history to reach 3,000 career helpers back on Sept. 7 against Edinboro. She has a leads the team and is third in the league with a 10.34 assists per set average. She also leads the team with 37 service aces.
  • Defensively, Jolly leads the team with 85 blocks, 15 solo blocks and has a 0.79 blocks per set average. Sollows follows right behind her with 64 blocks. Sophomore Holly Manchester (Lodi, Wis.) is third on the team with 54 blocks and second with nine solo blocks.
  • Freshman Nique D'Ancona (Larkspur, Calif.) leads the team with a 3.40 digs per set average. Hays and McCarthy are second and third on the team with set averages of 2.79 and 2.78, respectively. McCarthy leads the team with 295 digs.

SCOUTING NEW HAVEN: 

  • Although the Chargers were bounced in the conference tournament quarterfinals, they were selected as the top-seed in the East Region, boasting a 25-5 record in 2018. New Haven has been to the NCAA tournament for the last 13 seasons and 33 times overall in program history.
  • New Haven led the league with a .247 attacking percentage, ranking 23rd among Division II programs. The Chargers' 12.97 kills per set was fourth in the NE10.
  • New Haven's 1.95 blocks per set were third best in the conference as well, along with their 209 total blocks.
  • Second Team All-NE10 selection Mallory Nowicki led her team with 3.12 kills per set and averaged 3.47 points per set. Her .320 attack percentage was good for second on the team.
  • Kristine Rios, who was also a Second Team All-Conference selection, was the primary setter for the Chargers. She had 867 assists for an 8.10 average per set.
  • Defensively, Second-Team All-Conference selection Camille Garden was among the best in the league blocks and blocks per set. Her average of 1.08 and total of 116 were both second in the conference. She was also in the top 60 in the nation with that average. Jalynn Finnie had 84 total blocks and averaged 0.79 per set.
  • Brianna Mirmina led the team with 378 digs and an average of 3.57 digs per set. Rios was second on the squad with an average of 3.12 digs per set.

ALL-TIME vs. NEW HAVEN: The Chargers hold a 12-3 advantage all-time against Saint Anselm. However, the Hawks picked up a win in the last meeting during the NE10 Quarterfinals on Nov. 6 in straight sets. 

2018 NCAA Division II East Regional Match Schedule

November 15, 2018 | Quarterfinals

Match 1: No. 3 Daemen (21-10) vs. No. 6 American International (21-11) | 12p.m. | Watch Live | Live Stats

Match 2: No. 2 Adelphi (26-6) vs. No. 7 Southern Connecticut (21-13) | 2:30 p.m. | Watch LiveLive Stats

Match 3: No. 1 New Haven (25-5) vs. No. 8 Saint Anselm (17-12) | 5 p.m. | Watch LiveLive Stats

Match 4: No. 4 Molloy (20-8) vs. No. 5 Holy Family (29-5) | 7:30 p.m. | Watch LiveLive Stats

November 16, 2018 | Semifinals

Match 5: Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2 | 5 p.m. | Watch LiveLive Stats

Match 6: Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4 | 7:30 p.m. | Watch LiveLive Stats

November 18, 2018 | Championship

Match 7: Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6 | 7 p.m. | Watch LiveLive Stats