Purple Knights earn 3-2 victory over Bentley, down Falcons for first time in program history

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team notched the first win against Bentley University in program history, topping the Falcons, 3-2 (25-15, 23-25, 25-13, 21-25, 15-7), in a Northeast-10 Conference match at Ross Sports Center on Thursday.

With the win, the Purple Knights, who have now won three of their last four matches, improve to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in the conference, while the Falcons fall to 7-13 and 2-3. The Purple and Gold reached double digits in wins for a third straight season for the first time since 1995.

In a series that dates back to 1986, Saint Michael's won against Bentley for the first time in 28 meetings. Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) tallied 10 kills and 15 digs, while junior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) contributed a team-leading 17 kills and four blocks. Senior Tracy Peterka (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) added 13 kills for Saint Michael's, hitting .500, and first-year Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) had nine kills and 10 digs. Junior Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) notched 40 assists and 14 digs, while senior Courtney Dunne (Hopkinton, Mass./Bancroft School) also added 14 digs. Junior Cynthia Edgerton (Vail, Colo./Vail Mountain School) registered three service aces for the Purple Knights.

Sophomores Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) and Emily Garcia (Gardnerville, Nev./Douglas) led Bentley with 10 kills apiece, while classmate Kelsey Buckner (San Marino, Calif./San Marino) added eight kills and 11 digs. Senior Grace Conner (Santa Barbara, Calif./San Marcos) also tallied eight kills, and first-year Kyana Miller (San Diego, Calif./Canyon Crest Academy) posted 45 assists. Sophomore Lauren Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) recorded 22 digs, while first-year Jessica Segal (West Harrison, N.Y./Harrison) totaled four aces.

The Purple Knights raced out to a 14-5 lead to open the initial set and never let their lead slip to below seven. Saint Michael's grabbed a 12-8 advantage to begin the second frame before the Falcons took 10 of the next 13 points to go ahead 18-15. After the Purple Knights won three straight points to tie the set at 18-18, there would be four more ties, at 19-19, 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23. Bentley capped a 3-0 run by taking the final two points on service aces from Segal to claim the set.

Saint Michael's grabbed control early in the third set, jumping out to a 10-3 advantage. The Falcons won four of the next five points to trail 11-7, but the Purple Knights took eight of the next 11 to move ahead, 19-10. Saint Michael's closed the set with a 6-3 run, winning the final clinching point on an ace from Walsh. The hosts led 2-1 early in the fourth set before Bentley took nine of the next 12 points to open up a 10-5 advantage. The Purple Knights won three of the next five points, but the Falcons moved ahead 21-13 with a 9-5 run. Saint Michael's mounted a comeback and climbed back to within a 24-21 deficit, but Bentley won the set on a kill from Buckner.

The Purple Knights grabbed an 8-1 lead to open the final frame, as Dunne and junior Brianna Saunders (Litchfield,  N.H./Campbell) held serves for three and four points, respectively. Bentley fought back to trail 12-7, but Saint Michael's claimed the match after winning the next three points.

The Purple Knights are back in action on Tuesday when they host Saint Anselm College in an NE-10 match scheduled for 7 p.m.