NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s volleyball team concluded the regular season with a thrilling, 3-2, victory over Adelphi University. The Warriors won despite losing two of the first three sets, and with the victory, Merrimack secures the No. 6 seed in the Northeast-10 Tournament.
Score: Merrimack 3 | Adelphi 2
Records: Merrimack (17-7, 9-5 NE-10) | Adelphi (13-14, 10-4 NE-10)
Location: Bert Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
What They Said
Head coach TJ Hajjar: “We’re obviously thrilled to come away with a win against a very good Adelphi team. I thought the girls showed incredible resolve in coming back from a 2-1 deficit. And on top of everything else, it was an excellent final home match for our seniors. I can’t say enough about what they have meant to our program over the last four years.”
How It Happened
The Warriors entered the final contest of the regular season with a berth in the NE-10 Championship secured, but with seeding still to be decided.
Before the match, seniors Allison Cote (Chelmsford, Mass.), Corrine Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.), Aliya Rakhmetova (Arlington, Va.), Taciane Santos (Everett, Mass.), Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y.), and Katie Wilcox (Pembroke, Mass.) were honored as part of the Senior Day ceremonies.
Merrimack won after set scores of 25-17, 13-25, 23-25, 25-21 and 15-11.
The Warriors came out firing in the first stanza, totaling 18 kills as a team on only one error for a hitting percentage of .531.
In the second set the Panthers rebounded, proving why the entered the contest as one of the top-four teams in the conference. Adelphi totaled 15 kills with zero errors for a .682 attack rate.
The third set went back-and-forth, before Adelphi pulled away to win by two, 25-23. In the fourth frame, Merrimack showed resilience, bouncing back to win 25-21, and sent the match to deciding final set.
The teams traded point-for-point, but with the match tied 11-11 the Navy and Gold went on a 4-0 run to win the set and the match.
On senior Day, it was Merrimack’s most veteran players that stole the show. Sheehan finished with a match-high 21 kills. Gosselin posted 13 kills on only two errors for a hitting percentage of .393.
Sophomore Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.) tallied a match-high 52 assists.
Inside The Numbers
Junior libero Madison Burke (San Jose, Calif.) notched 19 digs, the most of any player in the match. Sheehan finished with nine digs, one away from her 12th double-double of the year
Not only did Stuhr lead on players in assists, she was the lone Warrior to have a double-double as she added 12 digs. It is the third time this season that she has totaled at least 50 assists
Sophomore Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass.) finished with nine kills, including a powerful strike that gave the Warriors a 13-11 lead late in the fifth set
NE-10 Playoff Outlook
Top-eight teams qualify
1. New Haven (11-3)
2. Stonehill (11-3)
3. Bentley (11-3)
4. Adelphi (10-4)
5. Saint Rose (10-4)
6. Merrimack (9-5)
7. Southern New Hampshire (9-5)
8. Franklin Pierce (8-6)
9. Le Moyne (7-7)
10. Saint Anselm (6-8)
11. Assumption (5-9)
12. Southern Connecticut (3-11)
13. St. Michael’s (2-12)
14. American International (2-12)
15. Pace (2-12)
The Navy and Gold advance to the NE-10 Championship for the second consecutive season and will play in the quarterfinals on Tuesday against Bentley on the road.