MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team opened Northeast-10 Conference play with a 3-1 (25-12, 25-13, 19-25, 25-12) loss to Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday in the SNHU Fieldhouse. The Purple Knights, who were competing for the first time in 11 days, fell to 7-3 overall, while the Penmen, who also began their league campaign, are now 6-5.
Sophomore Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) had seven kills, 11 digs and three blocks for the Purple and Gold, while senior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) tacked on seven kills and three blocks. Sophomore Candace Washington (New Carrollton, Md./Parkdale) had five kills and a career-best nine blocks, and senior setter Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) provided not only 24 assists and 11 digs, but also a career-best six blocks. First-years Natalia Maccarrone (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) and Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) turned in 18 and 15 digs, respectively.
Sophomore Nina McGouldrick (Richardson, Texas/Richardson) had 19 kills, four aces and 12 digs for Southern New Hampshire, while senior Ashlee Daoust (Brookline, N.H./Hollis-Brookline) had 12 kills, four aces and 15 digs. Sophomore Catherine Cotton (Murphy, Texas/Wylie) handed out 53 assists, and classmate Maeghan Higgins (Hesperia, Calif./Hesperia) had 27 digs.
The visitors yielded the first three points in each of the opening two sets during eventual losses, despite Moore's service ace eventually knotting the second set at nine, as the Penmen used a 16-4 run to pull away. After trailing 10-7 in the third set, the Purple Knights scored 18 of the final 27 points, using a 7-0 run to snap a 15-all tie via three blocks apiece by McLeod and Washington. Covitz's kill at set point brought the visitors within 2-1. After Saint Michael's tied the fourth set at four, Southern New Hampshire pulled away with a 14-2 run before later finishing off the victory.
Saint Michael's continues a two-match weekend trip at Bentley University tomorrow at 1 p.m.