Purple Knights lose three sets by four points or less, fall to American International, 3-1

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team closed out its three-match homestand by dropping a 3-1 (25-21, 26-24, 16-25, 25-22) decision to American International College in a Northeast-10 Conference match on Friday at Ross Sports Center. With the loss, the Purple Knights fall to 10-8 overall and 2-5 in the league, while the Yellow Jackets improve to 11-10 and 5-4.

Senior Tracy Peterka (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) and junior Jess McLoed (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) both notched double-doubles for Saint Michael's, as Peterka finished with 17 kills and 10 digs, and McLeod tallied 37 assists and 15 digs. Senior Katie Walsh (North Kingstown, R.I./The Prout School) recorded 14 kills and seven digs, while first-year Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) had seven kills and 18 digs. Senior Courtney Dunne (Hopkinton, Mass./Bancroft School) collected 26 digs and added three aces, while junior Brianna Saunders (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) recorded four aces.

Junior Caitlin Connelly (Holbrook, N.Y./Saint Anthony's) led American International with 21 kills and added 18 digs, while classmate Siri Ngundam (Bowie, Md./Bowie) finished with 11 kills, 10 digs and six blocks. First-year Franny Sanchez (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining) recorded a team-high 24 digs, while sophomores Phoebe Lettington (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) and Vanessa Ruiz (West Springfield, Mass./West Springfield) added 14 kills and 18 digs, respectively. First-year Britt Bryant (New Windsor, N.Y./Cornwall Central) tallied seven kills and eight blocks, and senior Kervelle Redhead (Saint James, Trinidad & Tobago/Saint Joseph's Convent) dished out 58 assists.

American International grabbed a 7-3 advantage to begin the first set before Saint Michael's went on a 7-1 run to take a 10-8 lead. After ties of 13-13, 15-15 and 16-16, the Yellow Jackets evened the score at 17-17 to begin a 6-1 run and move in front, 23-18. American International took two of the final five points to win the set. The second frame saw 14 ties, as neither team could claim more than three points in a row. With the set deadlocked at 24, the Yellow Jackets took back-to-back points to grab a 2-0 lead in the match, with Ruiz's kill clinching the set.

The Purple Knights raced out to a 10-3 lead to start the third frame. American International won the next two points to pull to within five, but Saint Michael's grabbed nine of the next 13 to extend its advantage to 19-9. The Yellow Jackets were unable to shorten the Purple Knight lead to less than seven for the remainder of the set, with Dunne's ace providing the 25th point. The teams split the opening eight points of the fourth set before Saint Michael's went on a 7-2 run to move ahead 11-6. American International later used a 10-2 run to take an 18-15 advantage, keyed by three straight aces from Sanchez. The Purple Knights closed the gap to 21-20 before the Yellow Jackets claimed four of the final six points to win the match.

The Purple Knights are back in action on Tuesday when they begin a three-match road trip at Franklin Pierce University at 7 p.m.