WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Elise Jolly (Nashua, N.H.) of the Saint Anselm College women's volleyball team posted a career-high 20 kills on 43 swings on Friday but it was not enough as fourth-seeded Saint Anselm's run in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament came to a heartbreaking end, falling 3-2 (25-16, 17-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-13) to top-seeded Bentley University at the Dana Center.
The loss drops the Hawks to 20-10 overall while the win improves Bentley's record to 24-5 and advances the Falcons to the NE10 title game on Saturday.
Saint Anselm, ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Division II Regional Rankings, will await word of an at-large bid to the East Regional Dec. 5-7 if their season is to continue.
The host Falcons got out to a hot start on the evening, posting a 25-16 first set victory.
Saint Anselm came storming back, led by Jolly and junior Jordan Schamp (Plymouth, Mich.), taking the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-22, taking a 2-1 lead.
The fourth would go the way of the host Falcons, who forced the decisive fifth set with a 25-17 win.
In the fifth, the Hawks jumped out to the early 2-0 lead but Bentley would not go quietly. With the score knotted six times down the stretch, the Hawks and Falcons could build a lead no greater than three. With the score locked in at 13-13, Bentley's Dani Milner put home the kill to take the edge and an error by the Hawks sent the Falcons to the league's championship match.
Schamp chipped in 16 kills on 46 swings while Catie McCarthy (Warrenton, Va.) finished as the third Hawks student-athlete with double-digit kills with 10. Caroline Belmontez (San Diego, Calif.) had a team-best 32 digs and Michelle Henwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) had 45 helpers on the evening.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Romance