NE-10 SEMIFINAL: #6 Stonehill Falls to #7 Merrimack, 3-1

Senior captain Sydney Maxey recorded 11 digs, four kills, two blocks, and two assists in Stonehill's NE-10 semifinal loss to Merrimack.

Skyhawks comeback bid falls short

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (November 22, 2013) – The seventh-seeded Merrimack College volleyball team utilized a 6-0 run late in the fourth set to turn a 17-13 deficit into a 19-17 advantage en route to a 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 17-25, 25-21) victory over sixth-seeded Stonehill College tonight in the Northeast-10 Championship semifinal match at the University of New Haven's Charger Gymnasium. Merrimack will take on top-seeded New Haven tomorrow night at 5 p.m. in the NE-10 Championship final.

Sophomore outside hitter Delia Phillips (St. James, N.Y./Smithtown East) posted her 15th double-double of the season with 11 kills and ten digs to lead Stonehill. Junior middle blocker Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, Calif./Academy of Our Lady of Peace) led all players with six blocks while also contributing seven kills and two service aces, and junior setter Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Ill./York) dished out 30 assists to go with seven kills and three digs.

In her last match in a Stonehill uniform, senior captain Sydney Maxey (Hutto, Texas/Hutto) tallied 11 digs, four kills, two blocks, and two assists. Classmate and fellow captain Kirsten Arvidson (Andover, Mass./Andover) recorded eight kills and two blocks, and senior libero Jessica Frankowski (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) added 13 digs.

Merrimack was led by three players that posted 10+ kill efforts. Junior middle blocker Corrine Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic) and freshman outside hitter Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass./Melrose) registered ten kills apiece, while junior outside hitter Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y./St. Anthony's) had a match-high 14 kills.

Merrimack took advantage of Stonehill's .029 hitting percentage in the opening set to jump out to a 1-0 advantage. The Warriors then went up 2-0 with the help of their .485 attack clip in the second set, marking the second consecutive match that Stonehill was forced to play down two sets to none.

With the third set tied at 7-7, Stonehill was able to create some separation from Merrimack with four straight points on an ace by Iverson and three attack errors by the Warriors. The Skyhawks would eventually win the frame, as Merrimack committed a match-high 11 errors in the set.

Stonehill appeared poised to force a fifth set after trailing 2-0, as the Skyhawks led 17-13 midway through the fourth frame. Merrimack, however, strung together a crucial 6-0 run consisting of two kills by Sheehan, two aces by Cain, an attack error on Stonehill, and a kill by freshman setter Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) to take control of the set at 19-17. Stonehill was unable to regain the lead following Merrimack's key run, as the Skyhawks eventually fell 25-21.

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