McCarthy sets all-time kills record as volleyball drops five-setter

McCarthy sets all-time kills record as volleyball drops five-setter

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) of the Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team set the new program record for career kills on Saturday as the regionally-ranked Hawks dropped their regular season finale in five sets to Adelphi University.

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With the loss, the Hawks find themselves tied for third with Stonehill and New Haven in the Northeast-10 Conference standings. Already guaranteed a postseason berth entering Saturday's game, the Hawks will wait to see the final seedings released by the conference as the top four teams will own home court advantage to begin the playoffs. Saint Anselm finished the regular season with a 19-10 overall record that includes a 9-4 mark against conference opponents. Adelphi improved to 14-10 and 7-6 in NE10 play.

McCarthy now has 1,107 career kills, passing Alana McNeil '08 and her all-time team total of 1,105 set from 2004-07. Ranked fourth all-time in career sets played (408) and sixth on the single-season kills list (327), she was honored alongside seniors Madison Sollows (Barnstable, Mass.) and team manager Kristina Durham on Senior Day.

Against the Panthers, junior Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) powered home 13 kills and freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) posted a team-high 26 digs, putting herself in the top-10 in single-season digs with 423. Classmate Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) had 46 assists, one shy of tying her career-high 47 earlier this season against Southern N.H. and Franklin Pierce. After Saturday's contest, Henwood sits eighth in the all-time assists list with 890 in only her first season on the Hilltop.

Adelphi held a slim 9-8 lead in the fifth set after a kill by freshman Lois Dogbe (Winchester, Calif.). The visitors extended their lead by earning four of the next five points to give themselves a 14-9 advantage. With the set tilting toward the visitors, Saint Anselm captured the next four straight points to cut the deficit to one, 14-13. Cara McKenzie finished the match with a kill for the 15-13 triumph in the fifth set.

Saint Anselm began the match with a 15-7 lead in the opening stanza after earning five straight points. The Hawks kept with momentum and stretched their lead to 21-11 following a service ace by Belmontez. The lead for the Hawks was too much for the Panthers as McCarthy and Sollows closed the opener with one kill each on the way to a 25-14 win.

Adelphi responded in the second set, securing a 10-6 advantage, capped by a McKenzie kill. The Panthers started a 6-2 run for the visitors to earn a 16-8 lead. Saint Anselm trimmed the deficit to four but was unable to convert on the late charge for the Panthers to win the second set, 25-18. The Hawks came out strong in the third set and held an early 13-2 lead. In that span, McCarthy recorded three kills with Jolly posting two. The match was still in the Hawks favor throughout the set to claim a 25-12 win.

The fourth set was back and forth as both squads were tied at 12 following a Sofia Pinzon kill. Junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) and Sollows broke the tie with one kill each to provide the Hawks a narrow 14-12 advantage. Saint Anselm would boost its lead to 23-17, thanks to two kills each from McCarthy and Jolly. The Panthers changed the momentum late by going on a 9-1 run to close out the fourth set, 26-24, and extend the match to a fifth set.

Sara Mandreja of the Panthers finished the day with a team-high 13 kills. Katarina Warburton had 25 digs while Brenna Valsted led the team in assists with 24.