NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team suffered a Northeast-10 Conference loss to Merrimack College, 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-20), Saturday afternoon at Hammel Court. The Purple Knights are 1-10 overall and 1-5 in the NE10, while the Warriors improved to 4-15 and 1-4.
Senior McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) led the visitors with six kills, two digs, and two blocks, while junior Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) posted five kills, eight assists, three digs, and three blocks. Classmate Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) collected 15 helpers and two service aces and senior Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) contributed a team high of 10 digs. Sophomore Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) had five kills and eight digs while classmate Allie Statile (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) also had five kills.
Senior Mary Kate McCarroll and sophomore Catherine Flaherty led the Warriors with 10 kills each while McCarroll also contributed six digs and three blocks. Senior Christina Nye pitched in eight kills and 10 digs while sophomore Rosie Sperduto dished out 32 assists.
After two straight points from Merrimack in the first set, Saint Michael's answered back with two of its own before the Warriors went on a 7-1 run to make it 9-3. The Purple Knights rallied to come within four, with two kills from Dean and one from Statile, scoring four of the next six points, making it 11-7. The Purple and Gold still only trailed 15-10 on a McNamara kill before Merrimack scored the next five points and never again led by fewer than nine.
The Purple Knights tallied three straight to lead the opening portion of the second set with kills from sophomore Tanner Barton (Hudson Falls, N.Y./Hudson Falls) and Ratte. Saint Michael's continued to hold its lead at 9-7 until the Warriors scored six straight points to begin a 10-2 run. The closest the Purple and Gold could trim down the gap was by a margin of four, doing so three times, including on McNamara's block that made it 24-20. However, junior Katelynn Marr finished off the set for Merrimack with a kill.
The third set saw ties on six different occasions. After three lead changes, Merrimack pulled ahead 6-4 on a service ace by junior Sofia Basauri and a Saint Michael's error. Neither team led by more than three points until Flaherty's kill made it 15-11, but the Purple Knights rattled off four straight to tie the set on a kill from Statile. In a 16-16 set, Merrimack used two kills from Marr to spark a 5-1 run and never again led by fewer than three points.
The Purple Knights host Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. contest. The Ravens have appeared in three of the past five NCAA Tournaments.