RINDGE, N.H. – After defeating a quality Bridgeport team on Wednesday, the Saint Anselm College volleyball team kept momentum going as the Hawks opened Northeast-10 Conference play with a 3-2 victory against Franklin Pierce University on Saturday.
The Hawks handed Franklin Pierce just its fifth loss of the season in a hard-fought battle. Saint Anselm won the contest by five sets, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 17-25, 15-13. It was the sixth fifth-set victory for the Hawks since the start of the 2017 campaign, who are now 9-6 and 1-0 in NE10 play.
Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) registered her third straight double digit kill game after recording 16 on Saturday. McCarthy is now at a total of 953 kills in her career. McCarthy is six away from being in the program's top-5 in career kills. Freshman Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) tied her career-high 47 assists in the win. Freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) produced the third game in her career with at least 20 digs. The Hawks recorded their highest number of attempts this season with 173 against the Ravens.
Saint Anselm began the opening set with an early 10-5 lead in thanks to seven of the Hawks points coming off kills. The Hawks maintained the lead of at least four points as Saint Anselm was up 20-13 which made Franklin Pierce call a timeout. That stretch would be capped off by a McCarthy kill. Henwood and senior Madison Sollows (Barnstable, Mass.) would secure the win by knocking down three of the final four points. The Ravens controlled the match early in the second set as they held a 20-10 advantage. Three kills by McCarthy would cut the deficit to 20-14. Following a Franklin Pierce time out, the Ravens would tie the match at one with a 5-2 run and earn a 25-16 triumph.
Capping off eight straight points for the Hawks, junior Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) and junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) recorded two kills each in that span. Later, the Hawks kept with momentum and go on a four unanswered streak and expended their lead to 18-6. Franklin Pierce rallied and earned the next 13 of 20 points to close the deficit to 24-19. Sollows picked up the final kill to give the Hawks a 25-19 win and a 2-1 match lead. At the midway point of the fourth set, the Ravens held a 16-8 lead. Franklin Pierce kept the Hawks to only 16 points in the fourth set and captured the 25-16 victory. That win tied the match at two apiece.
In the fifth set, the Hawks and Ravens were tied at 8-8 following three points going to Franklin Pierce due to Hawks' errors. Sophomore Nique D'Ancona (Corte Madera, Calif.) started a 4-0 run with two kills, making the final set, 12-8. The Ravens would battle back and earn three straight points, narrowly tying the match. With Saint Anselm holding onto a 12-11 lead, the Hawks called a timeout.
D'Ancona and Schamp got the Hawks going with one kill each to make it 14-12. As match point was looming, Abigail Garnhart sent a kill to cut the deficit to one. With a narrow 14-13 lead, McCarthy struck home the final kill and clinched the Hawks a 15-13 win and a 3-2 match victory.
The Hawks closed out September and look ahead to October as they start the new month back at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium against Bentley on Tuesday, Oct. 1 for a 7 p.m. matchup.