NE-10 Semifinal Preview: #2 Stonehill And #3 Bentley Set To Battle For Championship Berth

Junior Delia Phillips helped Stonehill reach the NE-10 semifinals for the second straight year with her 13th double-double of the season (22 kills, 17 digs) in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Southern New Hampshire.

Skyhawks and Falcons meeting for ninth time in NE-10 postseason history

NE-10 Championship Central

EASTON, Mass. (November 13, 2014) – The second-seeded Stonehill College volleyball team returns to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship semifinal round tomorrow night for the second consecutive season and eighth time in program history, as the Skyhawks are set to take on No. 3 seed Bentley University at the University of New Haven's Charger Gymnasium at 7:30 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. Live broadcasts of both semifinal matches and Saturday's championship contest will be available at, while live stats for all three matches can be found at

Host and top-seeded New Haven will face fourth-seeded Adelphi University in the other semifinal contest at 5 p.m., and the two semifinal winners will play for the conference championship on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Three of the four teams remaining in the tournament are in good shape to earn a bid to the NCAA East Region Championship, which begins next week and takes the conference champions from the NE-10, East Coast Conference, and the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, in addition to the next five highest ranked teams in the region. In the latest NCAA East Region rankings, which were released yesterday, New Haven (21-7, 11-3) is ranked No. 2, while Stonehill (21-6, 11-3 NE-10) is pegged at No. 3 and Bentley (17-10, 11-3 NE-10) is right behind at No. 4. Adelphi (14-14, 10-4 NE-10), which snapped a five-match losing streak with its quarterfinal win over The College of Saint Rose, would likely need the NE-10's automatic bid to reach NCAAs.   

Despite making seven prior trips to the NE-10 semifinal round, Stonehill is still seeking its first championship appearance in program history. The Skyhawks are 16-34 (.320) all-time in NE-10 Championship action, and have reached the tournament five times in head coach Lauren Amundson's six-year tenure and 22 times in program history.  

Bentley, which shared the regular season championship with Stonehill and New Haven, is the most accomplished program in the history of NE-10 volleyball. The Falcons have a league-record nine titles to their credit, with 15 appearances in the finals and 23 trips to the semifinals. Overall, Bentley has qualified for the tournament 32 times, posting an overall record of 64-30 (.681).

When Bentley and Stonehill met during the regular season, the Skyhawks posted a 3-1 victory at the Dana Center in Waltham, Massachusetts on September 23rd. Stonehill is 5-2 against the Falcons under Amundson, with the two losses coming during the 2012 and 2013 regular seasons. The two teams have met eight times in the NE-10 playoffs, and Bentley currently holds a 6-2 edge in the series. Stonehill won the first matchup in 1984 and lost the next six meetings before erasing a 2-0 set deficit and claiming a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinal round in Waltham last fall.

Stonehill reached the semifinal round by defeating seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire University, 3-1, in a hard-fought quarterfinal matchup at Merkert Gym on Tuesday night. Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips (St. James, New York/Smithtown East) hit .300 with 22 kills and 17 digs to lead the Skyhawks, while senior middle blocker Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) turned in a .324 attack clip with 12 kills, seven digs, and six blocks (one solo).

Senior setter Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York) dished out a match-high 44 assists to go with eight digs, three kills, and two block assists, and sophomore Taylor Stevens (Foster, Rhode Island/Ponaganset) recorded 16 digs.

NE-10 Player of the Year Emily Iverson recorded 44 assists and eight digs in Tuesday's win against the Penmen.

Four Skyhawks earned All-Conference honors from the NE-10 for their efforts during the regular season, led by Iverson, who was named both Player and Setter of the Year after ranking second in the league with 10.21 assists per set to go with 2.02 digs per frame and 35 service aces (T-7th in NE-10).

Phillips collected her second straight All-NE-10 first team honor after posting averages of 3.30 kills (4th in NE-10) and 2.63 digs per set, along with 24 total blocks and 21 service aces. The 2013 AVCA All-East Region selection has recorded 13 double-doubles (10+ kills/10+ digs) in 27 matches this fall, including four in her last five contests.

Senior middle blocker Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) garnered second team honors, and freshman libero Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Bishop Chatard) was voted to the league's All-Rookie team. Lee's total of 72 blocks during the regular season was good for seventh in the league, while her 15 solo blocks were tied for ninth. She also averaged 2.19 kills (3rd on team) with a .242 attack percentage and 0.31 digs per frame over 97 sets. Manuszak, who earned a pair of NE-10 Rookie of the Week honors this fall, led Stonehill defensively with 3.34 digs per set and played in a team-high 101 frames.

Junior outside hitter Kelsey Weymouth (North Attleboro, Massachusetts/North Attleboro) has been a significant contributor all season with 2.40 kills and 2.13 digs per set, while freshman middle blocker Katherine DeLanty (Smithtown, New York/Smithtown West) chips in with 1.61 kills per frame and 57 total blocks.

Bentley advanced to the semifinals by virtue of its 3-2 win over sixth-seeded Merrimack College on Tuesday. Senior outside hitter Tatiana Froehlich (Newton, Massachusetts/Newton North) paced the Falcons with a team-high 14 kills, while junior outside hitter Jaci Buscher (Lakewood, Colorado/Green Mountain) posted a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Senior setter Alex Tator (Los Angeles, California/Marlborough School) tallied 42 assists, and senior middle blocker Simone Silvera (Bolingbrook, Illinois/Bolingbrook) led all players with eight blocks (one solo).

Tator and Buscher both earned All-Conference second team honors from the NE-10, while senior middle blocker Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Florida/Palmer-Trinity) landed on the third team and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Van Buren (Massapequa Park, New York/Massapequa) was voted to the All-Rookie team.

Northeast-10 Championship Schedule
Friday, November 14 - Semifinals

Match 5: #4 Adelphi at #1 New Haven - 5:00 p.m. |
Match 6: #3 Bentley vs. #2 Stonehill - 7:30 p.m. |

Saturday, November 15 - Finals
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner ­ 5:00 p.m.

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