MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team earned a four set victory over the defending Northeast-10 Conference champions, the Owls from Southern Connecticut State University, on Saturday afternoon at Stoutenburgh Gymansium.
Saint Anselm, who improved to 17-8 on the year, won by set scores of 21-25, 25-22, 25-21 and 25-21. The Hawks garnered their seventh win against NE10 opponents, finishing with a 7-2 conference record. The visiting Owls fell to 11-14 on the year and 4-5 in conference play. The Hawks earned their first victory over the Owls since the 2017 season when Saint Anselm took down the visitors by straight sets.
Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) moved into third on the program's career kills list after posting a team-high 16 kills on Saturday. McCarthy is now at 1,053 kills in her illustrious career and is 34 away from Erica Johnson '01 who holds second all-time with 1,087. Junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) followed her teammate with her own double-digit kill total of 10. Freshman Michelle Henwood assisted on 39 of her team's 47 kills. Both Schamp and freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) posted a team-high nine digs.
In the first set, the Owls took control early and held a 9-5 advantage following two kills by Ella White. The Hawks jumped on an opportunity and won the next five straight points. With that stretch, Saint Anselm took its first lead of the day at 10-9. Both teams would go back and forth until the Hawks led 18-14, following a Belmontez service ace and one kill from McCarthy. Southern Connecticut State won the next 11 of 14 points to capture the opening set, 25-21.
After a back-and-forth battle in the first half of the second set, the Owls and Hawks were deadlocked at 18. Saint Anselm took charge with a 7-3 run to make the score 24-21. In that span, McCarthy recorded two kills. The Hawks would eventually win the second set, 25-22, after an attacking error by Abigail Epstein.
Tied at nine in the third set, junior Holly Manchester (Lori, Wis.) sent home two kills in the 6-2 run, giving the hosts a 15-11 lead. For the remainder of the set, Saint Anselm kept the Owls to a three-or-greater point margin to claim a 25-21 triumph. That provided the Hawks a 2-1 advantage heading into the fourth set.
Leading by a slim 11-10 margin, Saint Anselm kept momentum going and went on a 5-0 push which helped the Hawks to increased their lead to 16-10. Later in the set at 19-16, junior Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.), Schamp and Manchester recorded one kill each, extending the Hawks advantage to 24-14. Jolly secured the victory with a kill to send the hosts to a 25-21 victory and a 3-1 match win.
The Hawks hit the road for the final time in the regular season as they travel to Saint Rose and Le Moyne on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Romance