NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND: #3 Stonehill Falls To #6 LIU Post, 3-0

Senior Mary-Kate Catton hit .333 with nine kills in Stonehill's NCAA Tournament first round loss to LIU Post this afternoon.

Senior Mary-Kate Catton leads Skyhawks with .333 attack percentage and nine kills

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (November 20, 2014) – Making its second NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in program history, the third-seeded Stonehill College volleyball team fell to sixth-seeded LIU Post, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-12), in first round action of the East Regional this afternoon at the University of Bridgeport's Hubbell Gymnasium.

Stonehill's season comes to a close at 21-8 overall, including an 11-3 mark in Northeast-10 Conference play. The Skyhawks earned a share of their first regular season conference title in program history en route to the second seed in the NE-10 Tournament. Stonehill advanced to the semifinal round for the second consecutive season and fourth time in the last five years, before earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

LIU Post (20-13, 11-5 East Coast Conference), the defending East Region champion, advances to tomorrow's semifinal round to take on the second-seeded University of New Haven.

Playing in the final match of her collegiate career, senior middle blocker Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) paced Stonehill offensively with a team-high .333 attack percentage and nine kills.

NE-10 Player and Setter of the Year Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York) capped her career with the ninth double-double of her senior campaign, as she recorded 26 assists, 11 digs, and two service aces.

Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips (St. James, New York/Smithtown East) posted a team-high 14 digs to go with six kills, while freshman outside hitter Ashley Hitchcock (Warrenville, Illinois/Benet Academy) totaled six kills and three digs.

Senior middle blocker Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Note Dame Academy) notched four kills, and classmate Mary Nelson (Rochester, New Hampshire/Spaulding) had six digs and an ace.

NE-10 Player of the Year Emily Iverson recorded a double-double (26 assists, 11 digs) in the final match of her collegiate career.

LIU Post was led by ECC Rookie of the Year Danielle Valenza (Hauppauge, New York/Hauppauge), who hit .360 with a match-high 11 kills to go with three digs and two block assists defensively.

Senior middle blocker Heather Adams (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) recorded seven kills, three digs, and three blocks (one solo), while sophomore right side hitter Analise Austin (Honolulu, Hawaii/Moanalua) chipped in with nine digs, five kills, and a match-high tying four aces for the Pioneers.

Senior setter Lulu Centro (Rome, Italy/Liceo Lucrezio Caro) handed out 16 assists while running an offense that posted a .268 attack clip, and junior libero Rachel Ringor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Roosevelt) posted match-highs in both digs (15) and aces (four).

Stonehill held a 5-4 lead early in the first set before LIU Post took control with a 7-0 run, aided by a pair of kills from Austin, forcing the Skyhawks to use a timeout. The Pioneers continued their strong play coming out of the timeout, winning six of the next nine points to push their lead to nine (17-9). Stonehill put together a 6-3 run late in the set to pull to within seven (24-17), but a service error gave the opening frame to LIU Post.

The second set started much like the first, with Stonehill leading 8-6 before a 4-0 LIU Post run gave the Pioneers a 10-8 lead. The teams continued to trade points, with Stonehill tying the set at 12 and LIU Post eventually holding a 17-15 lead. The Pioneers stretched their lead to six (21-15) with a 4-0 run before the Skyhawks answered with a 5-0 run to cut their deficit to one (21-20). Consecutive kills by Valenza and Hansen allowed LIU Post to go up 23-20, and they would win the set by the same margin to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Hitchcock gave the Skyhawks a 1-0 lead with a kill to open the third frame, but LIU Post reeled off five straight points to take control early. Stonehill was never able to get into a groove in the set, as the Pioneers expanded their lead to seven (13-6) and eventually nine (18-9). The Skyhawks would add three more points, before LIU Post closed out the set and the match with a 6-0 run.

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