WATERBURY, Conn. – The Saint Anselm College volleyball team posted back-to-back victories over two non-conference opponents on Sunday at Post University. The Hawks dispatched Felician in straight sets before edging Bloomsburg by a 3-1 margin.
The Hawks improve to 3-5 on the young season while Felician drops to 1-7 and Bloomsburg goes to 3-5 after Sunday's action. Saint Anselm will make its Stoutenburgh Gymansium opener on Wednesday, Sept. 18 as they host Southern New Hampshire at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Nique D'Ancona (Corte Madera, Calif.) recorded 23 kills and only five attacking errors on 44 swings, hitting .409 on the day while also chipping in with 18 digs.
Against Felician, senior Madison Sollows (Barnstable, Mass.) reached double-digits in kills with 10 on 18 swings. Freshman Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) handed out 32 assists on her squad's 45 kills on the match.
Saint Anselm would cruise out to a 13-6 lead in the first set before the Golden Falcons cut the margin to five (17-12) with a 6-4 run. Felician would keep erasing the Hawks lead, shrinking Saint Anselm's advantage to 20-17, but then the Hawks used five consecutive points to earn the 25-17 win including two kills by junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.).
Saint Anselm sprinted out to a 7-2 lead in the second set before the Golden Falcons rallied back within one point, 10-9. That would be the closest that Felician would be to tying the set. The Hawks racked up five of the games' next six points to take a 15-10 advantage in thanks to two kills by D'Ancona. Each team would trade points until the Hawks finished the set out with a 7-3 push. In the third set, the Hawks controlled momentum with an early 15-6 advantage and held the lead to lock down the 3-0 match sweep. Sollows would contribute four kills in the set, helping the Hawks to their third set win.
Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) carried her team in the Bloomsburg matchup, recording 14 of her team's 51 kills, while Henwood handed out a career-high 39 assists and led the effort defensively with 15 digs.
Against the Huskies, Saint Anselm posted their highest hitting percentage in the opening stanza (.394) of all four sets. Ahead by a 10-6 margin early in the opener, the Hawks stunned Bloomsburg with six of the games' next eight points to earn a 16-9 advantage. The Huskies would cut the deficit to four points before the Hawks soared to a 6-1 run to capture the first set, 25-16.
In the second set, Bloomsburg and Saint Anselm were even at 12 following four straight errors. Julia Burcin of Bloomsburg came off the bench to power home two kills and two blocks, lighting a spark that helped her team build a 21-18 lead that eventually culminated in a 25-19 victory. The Hawks responded and opened up a 15-8 lead in the third set. That lead did not let up as the Hawks scored eight of their 10 points via kills en route to a 25-14 triumph. D'Ancona had three kills in the span.
With the match on the line, tied at 16-16, the Huskies let the lead slip away with seven-straight Hawks points to make it 23-17 as Schamp converted three of the seven points via kills. A late 5-1 charge for Bloomsburg brought the deficit to two points, 24-22, resulting in a Saint Anselm timeout. Out of the break, the Huskies recorded a service error which gave the Hawks the 25-22 victory and match win.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Romance