WALTHAM, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s volleyball team saw its postseason come to a close, as the Warriors lost to Bentley, 3-2, in a Northeast-10 Conference Quarterfinal match on Tuesday night.
Score: Merrimack 2 | Bentley 3
Records: (17-8, 9-5 NE-10) | Bentley (17-10, 11-3 NE-10)
Location: Dana Center | Waltham, Mass.
How It Happened
When Merrimack and Bentley met in the regular season, the match went the distance, and this time around was much of the same. The postseason brought an intense atmosphere to the Dana Center, as both Bentley and Merrimack boasted loud student sections and strong fan contingents.
The Warriors lost the first two sets of the meeting in the regular season, but in the first set on Tuesday night, they took it to the Falcons, winning 26-24.
The second and third sets would go to Bentley by scores of 25-20 and 25-21, respectively. The Navy and Gold rallied in the fourth set, accounting for 18 kills and only five errors for a hitting percentage of .310. They took the set, 25-19, sending the contest to a decisive final frame.
In the fifth set, both teams started strong, alternating points until it was 5-5. The Falcons then snatched momentum, going on a 4-0 run to take a 9-5 lead. Merrimack answered with two consecutive points, cutting the deficit in half, but Bentley ended the contest on a 6-0 spurt to win the match and advance to the semifinal round.
Senior Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y.) posted match-highs of 22 kills and 23 digs, nearly willing Merrimack to victory. Sophomore Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass.) totaled a career-high 20 kills while adding 11 digs for the double-double, playing arguably the best match of her career.
Sophomore setter Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.) tallied 52 assists, the fourth time this year that she has finished a match with at least 50 assists.
Inside The Numbers
Merrimack finished with 61 kills as a team, 13 more than Bentley had. The Warriors hurt themselves in the error department, notching 37 miscues compared to only 24 for the Falcons
On the day when she was named on the all-conference first team squad, Sheehan proved why she is one of the top players in the conference and the country. She compiled her 12th double-double of the year and her 23 digs were a career high
Junior libero Madison Burke (San Jose, Calif.) was the third Warrior to finish with double-digit digs with 20. Senior Corrine Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) posted a stat line of seven kills, five digs and eight total blocks
Bentley controlled the middle of the court all night long, totaling 26 blocks including eight from Simone Silvera
Northeast-10 Championship Volleyball Schedule
Tuesday, November 11 – Quarterfinals
Match 1: #1 New Haven def. #8 Franklin Pierce, 3-0
Match 2: #4 Adelphi def. #5 Saint Rose, 3-1
Match 3: #2 Stonehill def. #7 Southern New Hampshire, 3-1
Match 4: #3 Bentley def. #6 Merrimack, 3-2
Friday, November 14 – Semifinals
Game times of 5:00 PM & 7:30 PM (hosted by New Haven)
Match 5: #4 Adelphi at #1 New Haven
Match 6: #3 Bentley at #2 Stonehill
Saturday, November 15 – Finals
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner 5:00 p.m. (hosted by New Haven)