Purple Knights stay close in two sets during loss at 2011 NCAA qualifier Stonehill

EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team played to a pair of close set decisions but ultimately dropped a 3-0 (25-22, 25-12, 26-24) contest at 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier Stonehill College in a Northeast-10 Conference match on Saturday at Merkert Gymnasium. With the defeat, the Purple Knights fall to 7-5 overall and 0-2 in the league, while the Skyhawks improve to 7-6 and 2-2.

Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) recorded 11 kills and nine digs for Saint Michael's, while junior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) led the team with 12 kills. Junior Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) handed out 30 assists and added seven digs, while senior Courtney Dunne (Hopkinton, Mass./Bancroft School) gathered 11 digs and tallied two aces.

Junior Kirsten Arvidson (Andover, Mass./Andover) and sophomore Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) each had 13 kills to lead Stonehill, while Arvidson added three blocks. Sophomore Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Ill./York) totaled 39 assists and 15 digs, while senior Erin Kelly (Tinley Park, Ill./Marist) added 14 digs. Sophomore Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, Calif./Academy of Our Lady of Peace) notched nine kills and five blocks.

Neither team trailed by more than three points in an opening set that saw 10 ties, as Covitz and Walsh each recorded four kills. First-year Kelsey Flaherty's (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) ace gave the visitors a 22-21 lead, but Stonehill countered with the final four points, clinching the set on a kill from Catton. After a service ace by Flaherty brought the Purple Knights to a 4-4 tie to open the second set, the Skyhawks took off on a 17-6 run sparked by four kills from Arvidson and three from Lee. First-year Hunter Tuck (Haverhill, Mass./Central Catholic) grabbed two of the final four points for the Skyhawks. Saint Michael's raced to an 11-3 lead in the third set, as Covitz registered two kills and Dunne had two aces during an 8-0 run. Stonehill rebounded, forcing a 21-21 tie, and Purple Knight junior Maddie Gaughan (Stoneham, Mass./Stoneham) dropped a kill to put her team up 24-23 before the hosts scored the final three points.

The Purple Knights are back in action on Tuesday, when they host Merrimack College at 7 p.m. at Ross Sports Center.