WALTHAM, Mass. – After capturing the regular season title and posting a 3-1 quarterfinal win over Southern Connecticut State Tuesday, the Bentley University women's volleyball will look to continue their successful season Friday night against fourth-seeded Saint Anselm College at the Dana Center in the Northeast-10 Conference semifinals. First serve is scheduled for 5 pm.
The Dana Center is the home of the Northeast-10 championships for the first time since 2007. Friday's semifinal doubleheader will also include second-seeded American International College against number three Stonehill College at 7:30 pm. The championship match will be at 7 pm Saturday and all three matches can be viewed on the NE10 NOW digital network
Bentley, which will be looking to reach the 25-win mark for the first time since 2006 and is ranked second in the NCAA Division II East Region, has won 19 of its last 20 under the leadership of NE10 Coach of the Year Joey Pacis, including a hard-fought five-setter against Saint Anselm Oct. 1 on the road. The Falcons won the first two sets, the Hawks came back to take the next two and the Falcons prevailed 15-11 in the decisive fifth.
Senior middle Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./Francis Parker School), one of Bentley's three first-team All-Northeast-10 selections, was dominant in that one with 12 kills, three blocks and a .600 hitting percentage.
The Falcons, who prevailed despite the Hawks' 14 service aces, also received double-doubles from its two other first-team All-NE10 honorees, seniors Xio Lopp (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS) and Dani Milner (Plano, Texas/The Greenhill School), as well as junior Kirsten Segaline (Scottsdale, Ariz./ Desert Mountain HS).
Lopp, the NE10 Setter of the Year, has been outstanding of late. Over the last 20 matches, she's averaged 9.99 assists, 2.87 digs, 0.85 kills and 0.60 blocks.
Another key contributor is Ingrid Murphy (Cotuit/Barnstable HS), the NE10 Rookie of the Year. In the quarterfinals against Southern Connecticut, she had a career-high 16 points, 15 digs and two aces.
Saint Anselm advanced to the semis with a 3-2 win over New Haven on Tuesday after rallying from a 2-1 deficit. The Hawks are 20-9 overall, including 11-3 since early October.
Catie McCarthy averages 3.12 kills, Madison Sollows is hitting .302 and Michelle Henwood provides 8.79 assists and 2.99 digs per set. She also has 40 aces this season.
The second semifinal is a rematch from a late September match that saw Stonehill prevail in five sets. The Skyhawks are 17-9 overall, including 8-2 in their last ten, and AIC is 13-16 winning 11 of their last 13, including a 3-1 win over Bentley Nov. 9 that snapped the Falcons' 16-match winning streak.
Bentley will be looking to reach the final for the first time since 2014 and the 17th time overall. AIC has been in the championship five times, with one title, and both Stonehill and Saint Anselm have never advanced beyond the semis.
2019 NORTHEAST-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tuesday, November 19 -- Quarterfinals at Higher Seeds
Match 1: #1 Bentley 3, #8 Southern Connecticut 1
Match 2: #2 American International 3, #7 Franklin Pierce 1
Match 3: #3 Stonehill 3, #6 Le Moyne 0
Match 4: #4 Saint Anselm 3, #5 New Haven 2
Friday, November 22 -- Semifinals – at Bentley
Match 5: #1 Bentley vs. #4 Saint Anselm, 5:00 pm
Match 6: #2 American International vs. #3 Stonehill, 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 23 – Championship – at Bentley University