Senior setter Emily Iverson has led Stonehill to the No. 2 seed in the NE-10 Championship, averaging 10.21 assists and 2.02 digs per set this season.
Skyhawks are 7-0 against Penmen dating back to 2008 season
EASTON, Mass. (November 10, 2014) – Second-seeded Stonehill College will make its fifth consecutive appearance in the Northeast-10 Conference Volleyball Championship tomorrow night when its hosts seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire University for a quarterfinal round matchup at Merkert Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
Admission for tomorrow night's contest is $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and children and $1 for students with a valid ID from an NE-10 school. The first 450 students with their HillCard will be admitted for free, courtesy of the Department of Athletics and Student Activities. For those that cannot make it to Merkert Gym, live stats and a live stream of the match will both be available via www.stonehillskyhawks.com. The winner will advance to the semifinal round to take on the winner of the #6 Merrimack College/#3 Bentley University matchup.
Stonehill (20-6, 11-3 NE-10), ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA East Region Rankings, finished the regular season in a three-way tie with Bentley and the University of New Haven atop the league standings, earning a share of its first regular season NE-10 title in program history. New Haven was awarded the top seed by virtue of the league's tie-breaking procedures, while Bentley ended up as the third seed. The Skyhawks were particularly tough on their home court this season, posting an 8-2 record at Merkert Gym.
Stonehill is making an appearance in the NE-10 Championship for the fifth time in head coach Lauren Amundson's six-year tenure at the College and 22nd time overall. The only year the Skyhawks did not qualify for postseason play under Amundson (2009), they finished in a five-way tie for fifth-place with a 9-6 record in league play, missing out on the tournament on a tiebreaker. Stonehill is 15-34 (.306) all-time in NE-10 Championship action, having reached the semifinal round on seven occasions, including last fall.
Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips recorded 12 double-doubles and averaged 3.30 kills per set (4th in NE-10) during the regular season.
Southern New Hampshire (17-10, 9-5 NE-10), currently ranked No. 9 in the NCAA East Region Rankings, is making just its second appearance in the NE-10 Championship in program history. The Penmen qualified for the tournament for the only time as the eighth seed in 2003, before falling to top-seeded Bryant University in the quarterfinal round. In the only meeting this season between Stonehill and Southern New Hampshire, the Skyhawks posted a 3-1 victory in Easton on September 30th. Stonehill has won seven straight overall against the Penmen, with Southern New Hampshire's last victory in the series coming on October 3rd, 2007, in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Iverson ended the regular season ranked second in the conference with 10.21 assists per set, while running an offense that posted a .184 attack percentage, good for fifth in the NE-10. The three-time All-Conference selection also averages 2.02 digs and 0.69 kills per frame to go with 35 service aces (T-7th in NE-10) and 23 total blocks (two solo).
Iverson became Stonehill's all-time assists leader in a 3-1 win over the University of Bridgeport on October 3rd, before surpassing the 4000-assist milestone a month later in a 3-2 triumph at Pace University on November 1st. She has recorded eight double-doubles (10+ assists/10+ digs) this fall, and eclipsed the 50-assist mark in five matches.
Phillips has also been a double-double machine, racking up 12 performances of 10+ kills and 10+ digs in 26 matches, including in three of Stonehill's last four contests. The 2013 NE-10 All-Conference first team and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-East Region selection ranked fourth in the NE-10 with 3.30 kills per frame during the regular season, while also averaging 2.63 digs per set to go with 24 total blocks (four solo) and 21 aces. Phillips posted a career-high 25 kills in Stonehill's 3-2 win over Le Moyne College last Friday night.
Seniors Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) and Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) along with freshman Katherine DeLanty (Smithtown, New York/Smithtown West) have made up one of the most formidable blocking trios in the NE-10 this season, as all three rank in the top-20 in the conference for total blocks. Lee (72) and Catton (67) have the eighth and tenth highest, totals, respectively, while also getting the job done on the offensive end, as both average over 2.15 kills per frame. DeLanty has played in the second-most sets (62) among Stonehill freshman, averaging 0.89 blocks (55 total) and 1.65 kills per frame.
Freshman libero Claire Manuszak led the Skyhawks with 3.34 digs per set this fall.
Freshman Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Bishop Chatard), who has won a pair of NE-10 Rookie of the Week awards this fall, leads the Skyhawks with 3.34 digs per set, while sophomore Taylor Stevens (Foster, Rhode Island/Ponaganset) chips in with an average of 2.14.
Junior outside hitter Kelsey Weymouth (North Attleboro, Massachusetts/North Attleboro) has been another solid contributor with 2.41 kills and 2.14 digs per set to go with 33 blocks (six solo) 29 assists, and 26 aces. She has recorded 10+ kills on 14 occasions in 2014, including a season-high 14 in Stonehill's season-opening 3-1 win over Chestnut Hill College on September 5th, and 10+ digs ten times.
Senior Mary Nelson (Rochester, New Hampshire/Spaulding) is tied for third in the NE-10 with 0.48 aces per set, while freshman Ashley Hitchcock (Warrenville, Illinois/Benet Academy) averages 2.00 digs and 1.35 kills per frame.
Southern New Hampshire's offense revolves around middle hitters Megan Salamun (Scottsdale, Arizona/Notre Dame Prep) and Marisa Coronis (Hudson, New Hampshire/Alvirne). Salamun, a sophomore, had the third-highest attack percentage in the NE-10 during the regular season (.350) with 2.62 kills per frame and 48 total blocks. Coronis' .327 attack clip ranks fourth in the conference, and the freshman also averages 2.62 kills and 0.49 blocks over 98 sets.
Junior setter Catherine Cotton (Murphy, Texas/Wylie) dishes out 9.65 assists per frame, good for third in the NE-10, while classmate Nina McGouldrick (Richardson, Texas/Richardson) averages 2.57 digs and 1.68 kills per set as both an outside hitter and defensive specialist. McGouldrick's total of 50 service aces is six more than any player in the conference.
Southern New Hampshire enters tomorrow night's action winners of its last four NE-10 contests, including a 3-1 win at Saint Rose on October 31st and a 3-0 sweep of New Haven yesterday in Manchester.
Northeast-10 Championship Volleyball Schedule
Tuesday, November 11 - Quarterfinals
Match 1: #8 Franklin Pierce at #1 New Haven, 7:00 pm
Match 2: #5 Saint Rose at #4 Adelphi, 7:00 pm
Match 3: #7 Southern New Hampshire at #2 Stonehill, 7:00 pm
Match 4: #6 Merrimack at #3 Bentley, 7:00 pm
Friday, November 14 - Semifinals
Game times of 5:00 PM & 7:30 PM (host institution may select their game time)
Match 5: Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2
Match 6: Winner of Match 3 vs. Winner of Match 4
Saturday, November 15 - Finals
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner 5:00 p.m.
*Semifinals/Final – at highest seed remaining following Tuesday's Quarterfinal Round (final four at same location)