MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship Semifinals, thanks to a five-set victory by the fourth-seeded Hawks over the fifth-seeded Chargers from the University of New Haven on Tuesday in the NE10 Quarterfinals.
With the team's first-ever postseason victory at home, Saint Anselm improves to 20-10 on the season, matching the all-time single-season record for victories in a campaign. The Hawks defeated the Chargers (16-10) in last year's quarterfinal round, 3-0. Saint Anselm will face the top-seeded Falcons of Bentley University on Friday, Nov. 22. The Falcons defeated the Owls of Southern Connecticut State University by a 3-1 score to earn the honor of hosting the remainder of the tournament. Game times are yet to be determined.
Junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.) led the Hawks with a career-high 17 kills while also registering another career-high in digs with 14. Senior Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) also had 16 kills, improving her career kills mark to 1,123 as the all-time record holder. Freshman Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) was one shy of her career-high in assists with 46 while also hammering home seven kills. Henwood's seven kills tied her career-high which was against New Haven earlier in the year.
Freshman Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) and McCarthy both registered a team-high four service aces. Those four service aces for McCarthy were a new career-high. Three Hawks student-athletes totaled 20 or more digs in the match. Freshman Colleen Chen (Superior, Colo.) was one of those student-athletes as she recorded a career-high 22 digs.
The Hawks came out strong in the first set as they led 18-5 following a service ace by senior Madison Sollows (Barnstable, Mass.). The Chargers attempted to mount a comeback but were unable to as the Hawks took the opening set, 25-13. New Haven responded early in the second stanza as they posted seven straight points to hold an early 11-4 advantage. The Hawks chipped back slowly to trail by two at 22-20 following a Schamp kill. The Chargers sent three kills in the final six points to earn a slim 25-23 victory in the second set.
Later in the set, tied at 13, the Hawks went on a short 4-1 stretch and led 17-14. In the span, junior Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) had two kills. Despite being ahead by three, the Chargers would go on a run of their own, earning six straight points and a 20-17 lead. Two kills each from Sollows and Schamp would even up the score at 23 but the Chargers earned the final two points to capture a 25-23 third set victory. The Chargers headed into the fourth set with a 2-1 lead. Following a Schamp kill, the Hawks held an 18-16 lead midway through the fourth set. Both teams went back-and-forth until Camille Garden had a service error on her first serve of the evening. After that point, the Chargers led 23-22 but the Hawks were not done. Saint Anselm battled to earn the final four points with all of those coming from McCarthy kills. Saint Anselm sent the match to a deciding fifth set as they won 26-24.
Saint Anselm took control in the fifth set, starting with a 12-5 advantage. The Chargers trimmed the deficit to four as Emily Barry recorded two kills and trailed 14-10. Schamp would clinch the 15-10 win for the Hawks with a kill.
Garden recorded a team-high 17 kills while her teammate Angela Chan had 18 assists. Julia Guarniere finished with 22 digs.