MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team overcame a 2-0 deficit in Tuesday's match against Bentley University, rallying to draw the match even before the Falcons pulled away with the five-set victory at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
Saint Anselm fell via sets scores of 21-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16 and 11-15. The Hawks drop to 9-7 overall on the season and suffered their first Northeast-10 Conference loss. Bentley moves to 12-4 overall and 2-0 against conference opponents.
Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) posted 16 kills for the Hawks, recording her fifth double-double this season with 12 digs on defense. Sophomore Nique D'Ancona (Corte Madera, Calif.) had her own double-double as she recorded 13 kills on 42 swings with 16 digs. After being named the NE10 Setter and Rookie of the Week, freshman Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) assisted 41 of the team's 55 kills. Freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) led the team in digs with 22.
Down by two sets, the Hawks battled back to win the third and fourth sets, setting up a dramatic fifth set. Ahead in the fifth by an 11-8 margin, the Falcons stormed their way past the Hawks, scoring seven of the matches' final eight points to stun the hosts. Saint Anselm committed nine attacking errors in the fifth set alone, mustering only five kills.
Bentley pulled away in the first set, taking a 17-17 deadlock and scoring five consecutive points on the way to a 25-21 victory. The Hawks rallied from a 17-13 score in the second set to bring the game even at 25, but Bentley used a kill from Rachel Bruno and an attacking error to create a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Hawks started the third set with five kills to build a 9-5 lead, but Bentley rallied back to tie the set at 14 points. Saint Anselm countered with a five-point run, fueled by a McCarthy kill and a strong stretch of serving from Belmontez, who notched a service ace during that span. Bentley would go on to tie the match at 22, but Sollows hammered home back-to-back kills before D'Ancona logged a kill at set point to force a fourth set.
Saint Anselm commanded the fourth set from the very beginning, opening up a 9-5 lead and never looking back thanks to 13 kills and a match-high hitting percentage of .353. With a slim 13-12 lead, Saint Anselm posted 12 of the set's next 16 points to fire up the home crowd entering the fifth set.
In the final set, both teams were tied at seven before the Hawks posted three consecutive points. Ahead by an 11-8 margin after a Bentley service error, the Falcons took over the match with four Saint Anselm attacking errors, a bad set and a service error fueling the visitors' 15-12 victory.
Bentley was led by 15 kills from Dani Milner. Xio Lopp posted 32 assists and Emily Barthelmes led the Falcons with 19 digs in the first four sets.
The Hawks hit the road on Saturday, Oct. 5 as they travel to Pace for a 1 p.m. dual.