WALTHAM, Mass. – Following match-point for third-seeded Bentley University, number six Saint Anselm College ran off three unanswered points to take the fifth set, 17-15, and oust the higher-seeded Falcons from the Northeast-10 Conference Women's Volleyball Championships with a 3-2 quarterfinal victory Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley took the first and fourth sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-22, respectively, while the Hawks prevailed in the other two, 25-22 and 25-20.
Saint Anselm, 16-11 after its third victory of the season over the Falcons, will advance to the NE10 semifinals against seventh-seeded Southern Connecticut. Bentley dipped to 19-9 and will have to wait until the field for the NCAA East Regional is announced to see if the season will continue.
The difficult loss spoiled an outstanding effort for Bentley freshman Kirsten Segaline (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain HS), who finished with 21 kills and 19 digs, both career-bests.
In the fifth set, the two teams were tied at every number from 1 to 15, with the exception of five and six.
With her team down 15-14 after a service error, Saint Anselm senior Katy Teets (Dix Hills, N.Y.) gave the Hawks back-to-back kills, her 17th and 18th of the night. That set up match-point for the visitors and they received the winning point on a shared block by senior Amanda Williams (North Andover) and junior Jewel Hays (Aliso Viejo, Calif.).
Bentley had battled back to force the decisive fifth with a 25-22 decision in the fourth. Down 20-19, the Falcons closed with a 6-2 spurt that included two kills by Segaline and ended with an ace from senior Isabella Perez (Lafayette, Calif./Carondelet HS).
In addition to the near 20-20 by Segaline, Bentley received a 13-kill, 20-dig double-double from senior Shannon Kelly (Hyde Park, N.Y./Franklin D. Roosevelt HS). During the opening set, Kelly surpassed 1,000 digs for her career.
Senior McKenna Buck (Renton, Wash./Holy Names Academy) hit .444 with eight kills and six blocks in her final Dana Center appearance, and classmate Celia Cristofoli (Fort Collins, Colo./Hudson (Ohio) HS) had 22 digs and three aces.
The Falcons also received 49 assists, three kills, eight digs and two aces from sophomore setter Xio Lopp (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS).
Teets led Saint Anselm with 18 kills, 11 digs and four blocks, and sophomore Catherine McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) followed with 17 kills. Hays had an outstanding match at the setter position with 57 assists and 20 digs.
The other quarterfinal winners were top-seeded New Haven and fifth-seeded Stonehill.