MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team opened its 2018 campaign in style, downing the Skyhawks from Stonehill College by a 3-1 margin on Saturday at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks move to 1-0 on the young season while Stonehill fell to 0-2 on the day, losing to Shepherd University later in the day by straight sets. Shepherd later defeated the Hawks' cross-town rival, Southern New Hampshire University, 3-1. All four teams will compete at Southern New Hampshire on Sunday.
Junior Madison Sollows (West Barnstable, Mass.) and classmate Catie McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) each pounded home 13 kills on the day with the latter narrowly missing a double-double with nine digs. Senior Jewel Hays (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) handed out 49 assists and picked up 13 digs for the double-double. Freshman Nique D'Ancona (Larkspur, Calif.) registered 15 digs in her first collegiate match.
The Hawks hit north of .270 as a team in the first set and despite recording 14 kills, Stonehill picked up 17 of its 25 points via kills to secure a two-point win to open the match. Leading 16-13, the Skyhawks came roaring back with seven of the game's next 11 points, tying the score at 20. With the set tied at 21, Stonehill recorded three kills on the next four plays to capture the lead for good.
Nine miscues by Stonehill on offense helped Saint Anselm secure a 25-22 win in the second set. Saint Anselm led by a 7-0 margin to open the frame, but Stonehill mounted a furious comeback to lead by two, 10-8, at one point. Down by one point (22-21) late in the set, four-straight points swung the momentum in the Hawks' favor and a service ace by sophomore Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) locked down the set victory.
Saint Anselm hit a match-high .307 in the third set, capturing a 2-1 match lead with 12 kills on only two errors. With the set tied at 10, a 7-3 run by the Hawks built up a 17-13 lead that stood up. Sollows, freshman Desi D'Ancona (Larkspur, Calif.) and McCarthy chipped in with key kills during the Hawks stretch of success.
The fourth set proved to be quite the exclamation point for Saint Anselm as the Hawks trailed by three points, 20-17. A kill from sophomore transfer Elise Jolly (Manchester, N.H.) preceded back-to-back kills by senior Sarah Lowery (Chicago, Ill.) to tie the set at 20.
Stonehill would go on to lead by two points down the stretch and had set point at 24-22 and nearly forced a fifth and decisive set. Saint Anselm held on just long enough and strung together three-straight points to end the match with a Stonehill service error, a Sollows kill and an attacking error by the opposition.
Allyson Hughes finished with 16 kills for Stonehill. Lauren Wilke set up 45 of her team's 59 kills while also leading the way defensively with 17 digs.