Chargers advance to title game with Pace as Skyhawks’ run ends
Anna Berthiaume recorded four kills and four total blocks, two solo. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (November 12, 2010) – Fifth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked ninth in the NCAA Division II East Regional poll, fell 3-0 (28-26, 25-18, 25-22) to top-seeded University of New Haven in the semifinals of the Northeast-10 Conference Volleyball Championship. New Haven, ranked third in the East Region, will play Pace University in tomorrow’s title match.
Senior Erin Johnson (Centerville, Mass./Barnstable) and junior Laura Huselton (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield) each recorded eight kills for the Skyhawks, and senior Anna Berthiaume (Somersworth, N.H./Somersworth) and freshman Sydney Maxey (Hutto, Texas/Hutto) added four apiece. Four players posted double figures in digs as senior Justine Thompson (Merrimack, N.H./Bishop Guertin) led all players with 20, Huselton collected 15, Maxey finished with 10, and senior Andrea Wirth (Mesa, Ariz./St. Mary's) registered 12 digs and 14 assists.
Sophomore Keidy Candelaria (Vega Baja, P.R./Bayamon Military Academy) led the Chargers with 14 kills and 13 digs, and senior Sara Malmlov (Lindesberg, Sweden/Sheridan College) also notched a double-double with 11 kills and 18 digs. New Haven put up a strong blocking performance with seven team blocks, including five (one solo) by junior Elizabeth Akinbiyi (Miami Gardens, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna Prep). Junior setter Chelsey Alpough (Torrance, Calif./Western New Mexico Univ.) collected 40 assists on the night.
Stonehill rallied back from an early 9-3 lead by New Haven in the first set, led by two kills apiece from Johnson and Berthiaume, and came back to tie the score at 21 when Berthiaume landed an ace. A kill from Maxey and a series of New Haven errors took the game to 28-26, but the Chargers claimed the set victory behind a late surge from Candelaria, who recorded six kills in New Haven’s final nine points.
The Skyhawks went ahead after two straight solo blocks by Berthiaume to open the second set, and kept the match close until New Haven broke it open with a six-point run on Malmlov’s serve, jumping ahead to a 21-14 lead. Stonehill worked to close in with kills from Maxey and Berthiaume, but New Haven held on to the advantage for a 25-18 final score.
New Haven took the lead early again in the third set, but Stonehill rallied with six straight points on Maxey’s serve to knot the score at 14. Huselton led the charge for the Skyhawks with six kills in the final set, but Malmlov and Akinbiyi brought New Haven home as they combined for five straight kills to end the game.
Stonehill (16-13, 11-4 NE-10) concludes their season having reached the NE-10 semifinals for the second time in the past three seasons, and having posted their best regular-season conference record since 1996, prior to the NE-10’s expansion to 16 teams. New Haven (25-2, 15-0 NE-10) will take on Pace tomorrow at Charger Gymnasium at 5 p.m.