NE-10 Quarterfinal: #2 Stonehill Advances Past #7 Southern New Hampshire, 3-1

Junior Delia Phillips led Stonehill past Southern New Hampshire, 3-1, in the NE-10 quarterfinals tonight with her 13th double-double of the season (22 kills, 17 digs).

Skyhawks will take on third-seeded Bentley in semifinal round on Friday night

EASTON, Mass. (November 11, 2014) – Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips (St. James, New York/Smithtown East) hit .300 with 22 kills and 17 digs to lead the second-seeded Stonehill College volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 23-25, 27-25) victory over No. 7 seed Southern New Hampshire University this evening in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Merkert Gymnasium.

Stonehill (21-6, 11-3 NE-10), ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA East Region rankings, advances to Friday's semifinal round to take on third-seeded Bentley University. The NE-10 Championship semifinal and final rounds will be held at the University of New Haven's Charger Gymnasium, as top-seeded New Haven defeated eighth-seeded Franklin Pierce, 3-0, this evening. Southern New Hampshire (17-11, 9-5 NE-10), ranked No. 9 in the East Region Rankings, will have to wait to find out its NCAA Championship fate.

Phillips' double-double this evening was her 13th overall this season, and her fourth in Stonehill's last five contests. Senior middle blocker Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) also turned in an impressive all-around effort, as she posted a .324 attack percentage with 12 kills to go with seven digs and a match-best six blocks (one solo) on the defensive end.

NE-10 Player and Setter of the Year Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York) recorded a match-high 44 assists along with eight digs, three kills, and two block assists, while junior outside hitter Kelsey Weymouth (North Attleboro, Massachusetts/North Attleboro) notched nine kills, seven digs, and two service aces.

Sophomore Taylor Stevens (Foster, Rhode Island/Ponaganset) and freshman Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Bishop Chatard) led the defensive effort with 16 and 10 digs, respectively, while senior middle blocker Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) tallied seven digs, five kills, and four blocks (one solo).

Southern New Hampshire was led by junior Nina McGouldrick (Richardson, Texas/Richardson), who posted team-highs in kills (11), and digs (17) to go with a match-best four service aces. Freshman middle hitter Marisa Coronis (Hudson, New Hampshire/Alvirne) recorded 11 kills, and classmate Carolyn Scacchi (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody) added eight.

Junior setter Catherine Cotton (Murphy, Texas/Wylie) tallied 39 assists to go with seven kills and seven digs for the Penmen, while senior right side hitter Kendra Mikuta (Orland Park, Illinois/Carl Sandburg) narrowly missed a triple-double with a match-high 26 digs, 11 assists, nine kills, and two aces.

Senior Mary-Kate Catton hit .324 with 12 kills, seven digs, and six blocks tonight as Stonehill advanced to the NE-10 semifinals.

Stonehill prevailed tonight in a hard-fought contest, as all four sets were decided by two points with the exception of the opening frame, which the Skyhawks won by a three point margin. Stonehill posted a .237 attack clip in the match, hitting over .200 in each set. Southern New Hampshire registered a .170 attack percentage as the Penmen fell to Stonehill by a 3-1 score for the second time this season.

The Skyhawks hit .227 as a team in the opening set and benefitted from Southern New Hampshire's .098 clip en route to a 25-22 victory. The set was tight early, but Stonehill stretched its lead to four (17-13) midway through on a pair of kills by freshman middle blocker Katherine DeLanty (Smithtown, New York/Smithtown West), forcing the Penmen to use a timeout. The visiting team fought back to even the set at 21-21, before Stonehill posted a 4-1 run to end the frame, capped by consecutive kills from freshman outside hitter Ashley Hitchcock (Warrenville, Illinois/Benet Academy) and Catton.

With Southern New Hampshire holding an 18-15 lead in the second set, Stonehill won six straight points to go up 21-18 before the Penmen responded with a 3-0 run to tie the score at 21. The frame would see three more ties, including 24-24, before Stonehill took a 2-0 set lead on a Southern New Hampshire attack error followed by an ace from Stevens.

The visiting Penmen finally broke through in the third set, winning 25-23 to force a fourth frame. Southern New Hampshire won the first two points and never trailed, leading by as many as eight (12-4). Stonehill eventually fought back to even the set at 21, but the Penmen held on for a narrow victory.

Southern New Hampshire appeared poised to send the match to a fifth set, leading by four (10-6) early in the fourth frame. Stonehill tied the score at 13, but the Penmen pushed their lead back to three (20-17) later in the set. The Skyhawks again tied it up at 21, and the teams traded points late in the frame. Southern New Hampshire moved to within a point (25-24) of evening the match at two sets apiece, before Stonehill used a Penmen attack error and kills by Weymouth and Phillips to claim the back and forth frame.

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