MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Merrimack College women’s volleyball team lost the first two sets on Saturday evening in its Northeast-10 Conference match against the Southern New Hampshire Penmen, but the Warriors rallied to win the next two, forcing a match-deciding fifth frame. A back-and-forth fifth set went in favor of the hosts, 17-15, as SNHU improved to 2-4 in NE-10 play while Merrimack fell to 2-4.
Score: SNHU 3, Merrimack 2 (25-20 | 25-20 | 23-25 | 19-25 | 17-15)
Records: Merrimack (4-17, 2-4 NE-10) | Southern New Hampshire (4-14, 2-4 NE-10)
Location: SNHU Fieldhouse | Manchester, N.H.
How It Happened
- 1st set – Merrimack held three-point leads twice early on in the opener, 10-7 and 14-11, but the hosts answered with 3-0 spurts at each of those moments to even the set. With the Penmen ahead by two, junior Mary Kate McCarroll (Harrison, Ohio) struck a kill to make it 20-19. From there, the Penmen won five of the game’s final six points to take a 1-0 lead in the match, 25-20
- 2nd set – The Penmen led coast-to-coast in the second set. Merrimack used a timeout after SNHU won seven of the first eight points, and three kills from senior Juliette McCall (Torrance, Calif.) contributed to a 4-1 run, making it an 11-7 game. From there, however, the Penmen led grew to as large as nine (22-13) before winning by a 25-20 final
- 3rd set – SNHU led by one, 12-11, before a Merrimack surge extended the match. A 4-0 run gave the Warriors the lead, highlight by points from Sofia Basauri (Beaverton, Ore.), Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass.) and Catherine Flaherty (North Andover, Mass.). Cain struck a service ace to bring the frame to a set point (24-19), but the hosts won four unanswered points to prompt a Merrimack timeout. Out of the stoppage, Basauri converted the set-clincher (25-23) to extend the night
- 4th set – Basauri totaled three straight kills as part of a 5-0 run to open the fourth for the Warriors. The lead grew to eight, 9-1, follow a kill from McCall and the Navy and Gold never looked back. The Penmen went on a 5-1 spurt to pull within five points late, but Cain struck the set-winner that forced a winner-take-all frame
- 5th set – The Warriors won five of the first six points, including a pair of aces from junior Christina Nye (Plaistow, N.H.) and senior Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.). The Penmen surged from there, taking a 14-12 lead, but consecutive Merrimack points extended the match. The hosts, however, collected the back-to-back points it needed to clinch the win, 17-15
Inside The Numbers
- Jennifer Cain capped off a career week defensively by posting a new career high with 30 digs, her first time ever reaching the 30-dig plateau. Her 18 kills marked one short of her season high as the senior captain registered her seventh double-double of the year
- Basauri finished third on the team with 14 kills, setting a new season high. She finished with 31 total attacks and three errors for a .355 hitting percentage
- Stuhr totaled 61 assists, her second highest output of the season. The fourth-year setter added 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the season and first in the last six matches
- From her libero position, Nye notched a career high with 35 digs. The first-year libero has 163 digs over the past seven matches, averaging 5.82 per set
- Flaherty continued to be an efficient attacking force in her rookie season, compiling 10 kills without an error on 24 attacks (.417)
- For the second time this week, McCall tied her career high with 16 kills. She finished second on the Warriors with 44 attacks, and only committed six errors on the night
Merrimack hosts Franklin Pierce on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. from Hammel Court. The contest will be an Ultimate Warrior event, with each student in attendance receiving a Merrimack-decaled coaster.