Stonehill Survives NYIT Comeback Bid, 3-2

Freshman outside hitter Ashley Hitchcock registered the first double-double of her career with match-highs in both kills (16) and digs (17).

Bears storm back to tie match after trailing 2-0, but Skyhawks prevail in deciding fifth frame

EASTON, Mass. (October 4, 2014) – Freshman Ashley Hitchcock (Warrenville, Illinois/Benet Academy) and junior Delia Phillips (St. James, New York/Smithtown East) each posted double-doubles as Stonehill College withstood a comeback charge from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) to earn a 3-2 (25-22, 25-16, 23-25, 24-26, 15-8) victory this afternoon in non-conference volleyball action at Merkert Gymnasium.

Hitchcock tied the match-high for both kills (16) and digs (17) for the first double-double of her collegiate career, while Phillips registered 16 kills and ten digs for her fourth consecutive 10+ kill, 10+ dig performance,  and seventh of the season.

Senior setter Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York), who became the program's all-time leader in assists in last night's win over Bridgeport, racked up 56 more today for her fourth 50+ assist effort of the season, including three in the past four matches. The three-time All-Northeast-10 Conference performer also tallied a match-high three service aces to go with eight digs.

Junior outside hitter Kelsey Weymouth (North Attleboro, Massachusetts/North Attleboro) hit a team-best .421 with ten kills, while senior middle blockers Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) and Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) added 14 and 11 kills, respectively.

Defensively, freshman libero Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Bishop Chatard) tied Hitchcock's match-high of 17 digs, and sophomore Taylor Stevens (Foster, Rhode Island/Ponaganset) recorded six.

NYIT was led offensively by junior middle hitter Kate Brock (River Edge, New Jersey/River Dell), who hit a team-best .414 with 14 kills. Brock also got the job done on the defensive end, as she finished with six digs and a match-high nine blocks (one solo).

Bears freshman outside hitter Karolina Moderova (Bratislava, Slovakia/Ostredkova) registered a double-double with ten kills, ten digs, and six blocks, while freshman Emily Mankowski (Naperville, Illinois/Naperville North) totaled nine kills and eight digs.

Junior Delia Phillips turned in her fourth straight double-double with 16 kills and ten digs.

NYIT hit .188 as a team, including a match-best .286 clip in the second set, while the Skyhawks turned in a .208 attack percentage with .400 and .550 marks in the second and fifth frames, respectively.

Stonehill took a tight opening set that saw ties of 20-20, 21-21, and 22-22, before a kill by Hitchcock, an NYIT attack error, and a service ace by Iverson gave the Skyhawks a 1-0 lead.

The Bears fell behind in the second set, 12-8, before coming back to tie the frame at 13. Stonehill countered with a six-point run with three kills from Phillips to take a commanding 19-13 lead before eventually winning the set, 25-16.

NYIT got out to a 15-10 lead in the must-win third frame, but Stonehill fought back and eventually tied the score at 19. With the score later tied at 23, an attack error by Phillips followed by a kill by Moderova kept the Bears alive for another set.

Stonehill hit a match-low .042 in the fourth frame, recording 12 errors in the process, but NYIT's .073 attack clip kept the set close. The Skyhawks fell behind 7-1 before drawing even for the first time at 18, and eventually taking a 24-21 lead. Two kills by Brock with two Stonehill errors sandwiched in between allowed the visiting team to regain a one-point lead, and the attack error by Hitchcock that followed sent the match to a fifth and final set.

The two teams traded points in the early part of the fifth frame, until Stonehill created some separation at 10-7. The Bears would draw to within two with a point on the next play, but the Skyhawks won the set and the match with a five point run, capped by an NYIT attack error.

Following its 5-0 homestand, Stonehill (13-3, 4-0 NE-10) will look to build on its season-high six-match winning streak on Tuesday night, when the Skyhawks hit the road to take on Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m. Stonehill is on the road again next Saturday at Franklin Pierce University, before returning to Merkert Gym on Friday, October 17th to host Assumption College. NYIT (8-9, 4-2 ECC) will try to snap its four-match skid on Tuesday night, when the Bears host Adelphi University.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

VolleyBlog: Week 13
November 13, 2014 VolleyBlog: Week 13