PREVIEW: Women’s volleyball hosts New Haven in NE10 Quarterfinals

PREVIEW: Women’s volleyball hosts New Haven in NE10 Quarterfinals

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team has qualified for the Northeast-10 Conference Championship for the fourth consecutive season and will battle the University of New Haven in the NE10 Quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at home.

LINK: Embrace the Victory: NE10 Volleyball Championship Seeds Decided on Final Day of Season
LINK: NE10 Women's Volleyball Championship Central
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The fourth-seeded Hawks will take on the fifth-seeded Chargers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Saint Anselm wrapped up the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and a 9-4 mark against NE10 opponents while New Haven concluded the season with a 16-9 overall (9-4 NE10) record.

New Haven, just behind Saint Anselm in the NCAA Division II East Region rankings, drew the fifth seed due to a three-team tiebreaker with Saint Anselm and Stonehill. The Chargers will look to avenge last season's straight-set loss to the eighth-seeded Hawks on their home court in the NE10 Quarterfinals.

Per NE10 regulations, admission will be charged for all postseason games. Tickets for adults will cost $6.00 with children and senior citizens (65+) priced at $4.00. Students will be charged $1.00 with the presentation of valid identification from an NE10-member institution. Saint Anselm students will be admitted to the contest free of charge, compliments of Saint Anselm Athletics.

The winner of Tuesday's game will take on the winner between first-seeded Bentley and eighth-seeded Southern Connecticut State that will be played at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The highest remaining seed after Tuesday will enjoy home court advantage throughout the NE10 postseason by virtue of its top seed. The conference championship will be held on Sunday, Nov. 23.

Eight teams from each of the eight NCAA Division II regions (Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast and West) will qualify for the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship that begins on Thursday, Dec. 5 with First Round action.

LAST TIME OUT: New Haven and Saint Anselm met on Friday, Nov. 1 with the Hawks coming away with the straight set win, defeating the Chargers for only the fourth time in program history and the first-ever time in Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Junior Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) registered a team-high 11 kills in the winning effort. Freshman Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) assisted 25 kills and three Hawks student-athletes recorded 10 or more digs on the day. Freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) finished the match with a team-high 16 digs.

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM

  • Saint Anselm posted its fourth-consecutive winning season and have achieved at least 16 wins in each of those seasons, including 20 victories in 2016 that matches a team record. With a 19-10 overall record, the Hawks need only one more victory to tie the program record for wins in a season and will be in search of the team's first-ever NE10 Championship.
  • This is the second time in program history that the Hawks will be hosting a NE10 Quarterfinals matchup. The Hawks played Adelphi in a first round fixture in 2016, but were defeated, 3-1, on their home court. Saint Anselm is searching for their first-ever home playoff victory on Tuesday.
  • The Hawks topped the league in service aces per set with 2.06, ranking 14th in all of NCAA Division II, and their .214 hitting percentage was the second-best mark in the NE10.
  • Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) capped the regular season as the all-time record-holder for career kills with 1,107. Her 327 kills this season ranks sixth in team history and she leads the team with 3.08 kills per set. She earned Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week after averaging 3.80 kills per set, a .328 hitting percentage and 2.40 digs per set in five matches for Saint Anselm that week. McCarthy was the first student-athlete from Saint Anselm to earn Player of the Week honors since Marissa Caron '04 on Sept. 29, 2003.
  • McCarthy has posted seven double-doubles in 2019, logging a season-high 21 kills against Adelphi last time out and chipping in with 15 digs and as many kills versus Southern N.H. on Sept. 18, 2019.
  • Jolly ranks second behind McCarthy with 227 kills and also ranks inside the top-five in the NE10 with 0.43 service aces per set. She has totaled 42 service aces this year.
  • Junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) has been one of the Hawks top offensive threats as she has averaged just under two kills per set.
  • Belmontez leads the league with 0.50 service aces per set. Ranked 11th in all of NCAA Division II with 52 service aces, Belmontez and the Hawks have totaled 225 service aces on the season which ranks ninth in the entire country.
  • Defensively, sophomore Holly Manchester (Lori, Wis.) has a team-best 50 total blocks and 12 solo blocks. Included in the defense, senior Madison Sollows (Barnstable, Mass.) and Jolly totaled 41 and 40 blocks so far this year, respectively.
  • Henwood leads the Hawks with 15 double-doubles to her credit in 2019. She ranks fifth in the NE10 with 8.58 assists per set and, only a freshman, sits eighth all-time in team history with 890 to her credit this year. She won both Rookie and Setter of the Week on Oct. 1 after pacing the Saint Anselm offense in a 2-0 week, picking up over one of the region's top teams, Bridgeport, and Franklin Pierce. She recorded 82 assists (9.11 per set) and 29 digs in that span, averaging 3.22 per set. Henwood tied her career-high total with 47 in the 3-2 win over the Ravens.
  • Head Coach Braden Zamore is in his fifth year at the helm of the program, boasting a 81-59 overall record that includes 39 wins in league play. With the straight-set win over Assumption on Sept. 20, Zamore became the program's all-time wins leader with 68 to his credit. Passing legendary Granite State head coach Lloyd Sheehan on the all-time Hawks leaderboard, Zamore has guided Saint Anselm to its first-ever trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament and three consecutive appearances in the Northeast-10 Conference postseason since joining the squad in 2015.
  • The Hawks were ranked fourth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region rankings with New Haven ranking fifth. Four other NE10 schools were among those rankings, including top-seeded Bentley, who sits third.

SCOUTING NEW HAVEN

  • The Chargers enter the postseason with a 16-9 overall record, returning to the conference tournament after losing to the Hawks in last year's NE10 Quarterfinals in straight sets. New Haven earned one of the at-large bids into the 2018 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship and they faced Saint Anselm once again, earning revenge with a five-set victory over the Hawks. The Chargers would go on to fall to Holy Family, 3-1, in the East Region Semifinals.
  • New Haven has reached NCAA postseason play on 33 occasions in program history. The Chargers are looking for their 24th NE10 title in program history and own a dominant 21-5 record in conference postseason play all-time.
  • New Haven was fourth in the NE10 with 12.43 kills per set and was also the top defensive team wtih 18.92 digs per set. The 1.91 service aces per set were fourth in the league.
  • The Chargers are averaging 1.58 blocks per set, good for sixth in the NE10.
  • Mallory Nowicki leads her squad with 243 kills and 2.64 kills per set. 
  • Angela Chan has a team-high 545 assists for a 6.19 assists per set average. Sammie Paguia and Kali Greathead lead the team with 36 aces apiece. Julia Guarniere has totaled 449 digs in 92 sets. 
  • Camille Garden has a team-high 67 total blocks and 18 solo blocks with a set average of 0.77. Jalynn Finnie was second on the team with 47 blocks.

NE10 POSTSEASON ALL-TIME

  • Saint Anselm has now made the NE10 postseason 12 times in program history, including in each of the last four seasons.
  • The Hawks were defeated by Adelphi in the 2016 season in the NE10 Quarterfinals but the very next season, Saint Anselm earned its first-ever NE10 Tournament victory with a win at Bentley in five sets.
  • The Hawks also qualified for the NCAA Division II East Region Championship in 2017, their first-ever appearance, and lost to Molloy in five sets.
  • In 2018, the Hawks upset the top-seeded New Haven in the NE10 Quarterfinals but then suffered a loss in the semifinals against the eventual NE10 Champions, Southern Connecticut State.

ALL-TIME vs. NEW HAVEN

  • The Chargers have an all-time record of 14-4 against Saint Anselm.
  • This is a rematch of last year's first round match in the NCAA Division II Championship where the Chargers defeated the Hawks in five sets.