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Merrimack Volleyball Tops SNHU For First Win of 2016

Photo: Merrimack Athletics

Links: Box Score | Game Highlights | Tara Stuhr Interview

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Senior captains Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass.) and Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the way with double-doubles as the Merrimack College women’s volleyball program triumphed over Southern New Hampshire, 3-1, on Tuesday evening in its home opener, winning its first match of the 2016 season.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 3
, Southern N.H. 1 (21-25 | 25-23 | 25-19 | 25-21)
Records: Merrimack (1-3)
| Southern N.H. (1-4)
Hammel Court| North Andover, Mass.

How It Happened

  • 1st set – After missing the first three matches, Jennifer Cain returned to action. With the Penmen leading 6-5, the Warriors went on a 4-0 run to take a 9-6 advantage, capped off by a kill from Cain. The turning point in the frame came with Merrimack leading 14-10, but the Penmen converted eight straight points to go up by four, 18-14, and did not look back to win the set
  • 2nd set – The Warriors surged to take the frame in come-from-behind fashion. Facing an 18-14 deficit, Merrimack went on a 7-1 run to take a 21-19 lead, with Mary Kate McCarroll (Harrison, Ohio) putting the Navy and Gold in front. McCarroll return to the forefront with the Warriors on their second set point, deflecting an attack off the Penmen’s back row to win the frame, 25-23
  • 3rd set – Freshman Catherine Flaherty (North Andover, Mass.) shone in the third frame. She finished with five kills and two blocks. Merrimack ended the set on an 8-3 run, with Stuhr reaching a double-double in the frame with 30 assists and 11 digs
  • 4th set –  The Warriors started off strong, winning the first five points on the set which included kills from Cain, McCarroll and Stuhr. The lead reached as large as seven, 12-5, following a kill from freshman Julia Stewart (Melville, N.Y.). The Penmen battled back, taking a lead at 20-19, but the Warriors ended the match on a 6-1 run, winning the match on a block from fellow rookie Catherine Flaherty (North Andover, Mass.)

Inside The Numbers

  • Cain impressed in her debut match, leading all players with 15 kills. She compiled 10 kills through the first two sets, with only two errors, hitting at a rate of nearly .400
  • Entering the match on the heels of jumping into second place on Merrimack’s all-time assists list, Stuhr posted a season-high with 41 helpers. For her career, the four-year starter now has 3,194 assists
  • After not recording a kill in the opening set, McCarroll dominated the second frame with seven kills. She finished the contest with 10 kills, her second straight match in double figures
  • The freshmen duo of Flaherty and Stewart continue to impress through four matches. The former totaled seven blocks in the match, four of which were block solos, while the latter finished the night with her first-ever double-double (10 kills, 13 digs)
  • Junior Christina Nye (Plaistow, N.H.) donned the libero jersey for the first time in front of the Hammel Court faithful, tying for the team lead with 13 digs

Up Next
Merrimack heads to Aiken, S.C. beginning on Friday for four matches over two days at the USC Aiken Invitational. The Warriors begin the tournament by facing Eckerd at 3 p.m. on Friday before taking on Mount Olive at 7 p.m.

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