COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team suffered its first home defeat of the season, falling 3-1 (25-16, 25-16, 15-25, 25-21) to Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference play on Tuesday at Ross Sports Center. After the loss, the Purple Knights drop to 10-7 overall and 2-4 in the conference, while the Hawks improve to 7-10 and 3-4.
Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) notched a match-high 15 kills while adding 16 digs for Saint Michael's. Junior Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) led the Purple Knights with 42 assists and 22 digs, while senior Tracy Peterka (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) recorded 10 kills in her 100th career match. Junior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) contributed 10 kills and five blocks, and first-year Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) added 12 digs.
Sophomore Shannon Douglas (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding) tallied a team-leading 14 kills for Saint Anselm, while first-year Lauren Oxley (Gainesville, Va./Stonewall Jackson) added 12. Sophomore Natalie Steinwart (Aurora, Ill./Aurora Central Catholic) finished with 46 assists and nine digs, while senior Margaret Tereschuk (Mission Viejo, Calif./Laguna Hills) and sophomore Melissa Jewett (Newton, Mass./Newton North) recorded 21 and 15 digs, respectively. Sophomore Melissa Ouellet (Salem, N.H./Salem) added six blocks for the Hawks, and classmate Holland McNabb (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View) recorded three aces.
Saint Anselm claimed the first five points of the opening set and didn't allow its lead to slip below four for the remainder of the set, despite a late 4-1 rally by the Purple Knights that closed the gap to 24-16. The Hawks began the second frame with a 4-1 advantage before Saint Michael's climbed back to secure leads of 8-7, 9-8 and 12-11. En route to knotting the score at 12, Saint Anselm closed out the set on a 14-4 run.
The Hawks won four of the first seven points of the third set before the Purple Knights took seven of the next nine to gain a 10-6 advantage. Saint Michael's didn't let its lead fall to below three for the rest of the stanza, and only allowed the Hawks to win back-to-back points twice. The fourth set saw three lead changes in the opening 17 points, as Saint Anselm took a 9-8 lead. After ties of 9-9 and 10-10, the Hawks took two straight points to lead 12-10. The Purple Knights cut into the Saint Anselm lead and trailed by a single point on five separate occasions. After Saint Michael's pulled to within one at 16-15, the visitors finished the match by winning nine of the final 15 points.
The Purple Knights are back in action on Friday when they host American International College in an NE-10 match at 6 p.m. at Ross Sports Center. Saint Michael's will host a Dig Pink fundraiser during the match.