Women's volleyball plays three close sets at Assumption, drops NE-10 opener

WORCESTER, Mass. - In its Northeast-10 Conference opener, the Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team dropped three close sets during a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) loss at Assumption College in Laska Gymnasium on Friday evening. The Purple Knights slipped to 7-4 overall, while the Greyhounds are 8-10 and 3-2.

Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) led the visitors' attack with nine kills while adding eight digs, junior Lindsay Phenix (Tewksbury, Mass./Central Catholic) had six kills on just 11 swings in her first match of the year, and first-year Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) totaled six kills, seven digs and three aces. Junior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) added six kills, classmate Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) provided 28 assists and seven digs, while senior Courtney Dunne (Hopkinton, Mass./Bancroft School) had eight digs.

Junior Lauren Ostafin (Avon, Conn./Avon) had 15 kills and seven digs for Assumption, classmate Mary Johnston (Pearland, Texas/Glenda Dawson) turned in 14 kills, and junior Ryan Merle (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles) added 10. Junior Kristin Flatekval (Mahwah, N.J./Immaculate Heart) posted 39 assists and nine digs, and senior Steph Whooten (Norton, Mass./Bishop Feehan) recorded 13 digs.

The Purple Knights led by a 6-4 count in the opening set before yielding a 7-1 run. With her team down 24-17, Flaherty served during the majority of a 4-0 stretch that made it 24-21, including dropping an ace, but the Greyhounds scored the final point. An early 6-0 run put Saint Michael's up by a 9-3 margin in the second set, with Phenix notching kills for the last two points. That proved to be the Purple Knights' largest advantage, as Assumption slowly crept within 20-19 before Flaherty produced a kill. The hosts notched the next three points to grab the lead before the Purple Knights knotted the set, and Flaherty later notched another kill to tie the score at 23. However, the hosts scored the final two points. A Walsh kill put the visitors up 11-10 during the final set before a Covitz kill made the score 18-13, but the hosts scored six straight points to jump into the lead. Three ties ensued, and Ostafin's kill put her team ahead 22-21 to give Assumption the final advantage.

Saint Michael's concludes a two-match swing to Massachusetts tomorrow at Stonehill College at 1 p.m.