Volleyball upends American International in five sets

Volleyball upends American International in five sets

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team battled the Yellow Jackets of American International College to five sets and finished on top, 3-2, on Friday evening at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.

Box Score | Video Highlights

Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) led the team with 12 kills on 46 attempts while also posting 10 digs. She also reached 300 kills for the second consecutive season, becoming one of only three student-athletes to accomplish that feat.

Freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) powered the defense with a team-high 20 digs. Classmate Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) assisted on 31 of her team's 43 kills.

Seniors Madison Sollows (Barnstable, Mass.) and McCarthy reached 400 career sets played in the victory. The duo helped the Hawks recover from a first set 25-13 loss - Saint Anselm settled down to take three of the next four sets via scores of 25-22, 25-19, 19-25 and 15-12.

After Friday's victory, McCarthy is one kill away from tying Erica Johnson '01 for second place on the all-time career kills list. McCarthy heads into the final regular season match with 1,086 career kills. McCarthy is also fourth on the single-season kills list with 366.

With a win at home on Saturday against Adelphi, the Hawks can clinch the second seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference Tournament.

With pressure mounting and the match tied at two, the Hawks began the final set with five straight points. Saint Anselm kept the momentum going midway, leading 12-7, following a McCarthy kill. The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to two, making it 12-10. Out of a Saint Anselm timeout, junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) would send home two kills to clinch the Hawks 15-12 triumph and the five-set win.

The Yellow Jackets controlled the match early with a 13-6 advantage in the first set. The visitors kept the momentum up and claimed a 25-13 victory for American International. In the second set, the Hawks responded and took a 17-12 lead following a junior Holly Manchester (Lodi, Wis.) kill. The Yellow Jackets came back within two points following an AIC kill to make it 22-20 in favor of the Hawks. The Hawks earned three of the final five points to capture a 25-22 win to tie the match at one.

In the third set, both teams were tied at eight. Later in the set, the Hawks would go on an 8-2 run which extended the Saint Anselm lead to 23-16. In that span, four Hawks student-athletes recorded a kill each. Despite American International winning the next three points, the Hawks finished the set off with a junior Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) kill and a visitor attacking error. Those two final points helped the Hawks claim a 25-19 win and provide themselves a 2-1 lead in the match. American International won the fourth set, 25-19, to extend the match to a fifth set.

The Yellow Jackets offense was led by Sarah Lowery, a former Hawks student-athlete and 2019 graduate, who recorded 23 kills on the night. Naomi Eckert had a team-high 44 assists while Amanda Rodriguez finished the day with 29 digs.

The Hawks return to action on Saturday, Nov. 16 for their final matchup of the regular season against Adelphi. Saint Anselm will be honoring three seniors prior to the match.