Purple Knights remain close with Stonehill during each set of NE-10 defeat

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team played a trio of close sets with Stonehill College before falling by a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23) count on Friday during Northeast-10 Conference action in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights are 7-5 overall and 0-3 in the league, while the Skyhawks won for the sixth time in seven outings in moving to 10-5 and 3-1.

Sophomore Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) had a match-high 14 kills for the hosts, adding eight digs, while senior Chelsey Covitz (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) was next thanks to 13 kills. With 828 kills for her career, Covitz closely trails Keri Forrest '97 (832) and Katie Walsh '13 (837) for the next two spots on the program's all-time rankings. Senior Jess McLeod (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) dished out 21 assists while recording seven digs, and junior Hillary Miller (Plattsburgh, N.Y./Plattsburgh/Colby-Sawyer) and first-year Natalie Moore (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) each tied with a match-best 12 digs. Moore also handed out four assists. Sophomore Candace Washington (New Carrollton, Md./Parkdale) had four kills and four blocks.

Senior Kirsten Arvidson (Andover, Mass./Andover) led a balanced Stonehill attack with eight kills in addition to collecting five blocks. Sophomore Delia Phillips (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East) had seven kills, and junior Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, Calif./Academy of Our Lady of Peace) added six kills, four aces and four blocks. Classmate Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Ill./York) notched 15 assists, and sophomore Kelsey Weymouth (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) totaled five kills, 12 digs and four blocks.

The visitors led for much of the opening set, but never by more than five points, and a 5-0 run by the Purple Knights that included a kill by Covitz knotted the score at 19. A 3-0 stretch by Stonehill was met by another Covitz kill, but Arvidson's kill later clinched the set. Three blocks by Washington during a 4-0 Saint Michael's run gave the hosts a 11-8 edge in set No. 2 before three straight aces by Catton keyed a 8-0 response, and the Purple Knights never again came closer than four points en route to falling behind 2-0. Following six early ties in the final set, Stonehill netted five straight points for a 17-12 advantage prior to the hosts forging a 21-21 tie. Stonehill scored the next two points, and Covitz dropped kills to bring her squad within 23-22 and 24-23, but the Skyhawks notched the last point on a kill.

The Purple Knights continue a four-match stretch during which they play three times at home by hosting Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday at 7 p.m.