COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team lost to visiting Franklin Pierce University, 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-15), on Tuesday evening in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights are now 1-11 overall and 1-6 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Ravens, who qualified for three of the past five NCAA Tournaments, improved to 5-13 and 3-4.
Sophomore Tanner Barton (Hudson Falls, N.Y./Hudson Falls) paced the hosts with six kills to go along with seven digs, while senior McKenzie McNamara (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) totaled five kills and four blocks just one match after becoming the 19th Purple Knight ever with 100 career blocks. Junior Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) collected five kills, 14 assists and five digs, classmate Sarah Rodgers (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) notched 11 digs and eight helpers, and senior Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) contributed a match-high 18 digs. Classmate Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) had four kills and two blocks. Saint Michael's notched a season-best block total for the second straight match, accumulating six.
Sophomore Danielle Varricchio registered 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks for Franklin Pierce, and junior Brittney Carias had seven kills on .467 hitting to go along with 15 digs. Senior Hannah Runge added 32 assists and 10 digs, and sophomore Jocelyn Moody totaled 17 digs.
Barton's kill kept the hosts within 5-4 during the opening set, and the Purple Knights trailed just 12-8 before the Ravens began pulling away on the strength of a 6-2 run. Saint Michael's rallied to make it a five-point set on four occasions, including on McNamara's kill that produced a 22-17 margin, before the visitors netted the last three points.
The second set featured 13 ties and nine lead changes, as the Purple Knights' 6-3 advantage on Priester's kill accounted for the largest surge by either squad until the late stages. With her team now down 21-19, Ratte dropped kills on the next two points to tie the set, but Franklin Pierce came out of a timeout to collect the final four, with Moody putting forth an ace and Varrichio and sophomore Abigail Garnhart each adding a kill.
Franklin Pierce scored four of the first six points in set No. 3 before the hosts were down just 4-3 and trailed by as few as three points toward the middle stages, including as McNamara and first-year Jillian Harvie (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) combined for a block to make it 11-8. However, the Ravens countered with a 9-1 run and never again led by fewer than eight points. A 6-4 response allowed Saint Michael's to chip its deficit to 23-15, as Barton, Harvie, Priester and Rodgers all had kills, but errors provided the visitors the final two points.
The Purple Knights visit The College of Saint Rose on Friday at 7 p.m.