Volleyball takes two to open East Stroudsburg Invitational

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – The Saint Anselm College volleyball program posted back-to-back victories over two non-league opponents on Friday at East Stroudsburg University. The Hawks dispatched Queens (N.Y.) in straight sets before edging Caldwell by a 3-1 margin.

Box Score vs. Queens (N.Y.) | Box Score vs. Caldwell

The Hawks improve to 4-1 on the young season while Queens (N.Y.) and Caldwell drop to 0-2 after Friday's activity. Saint Anselm will take on the host Warriors from East Stroudsburg at 11 a.m. before a 1 p.m. contest against Jefferson.

Sophomore Elise Jolly (Merrimack, N.H.) led the team with a .487 attacking percentage across both matches, committing only four errors on 39 total swings alongside 23 kills. Freshman Molly Mawhinney (South Portland, Maine) had 15 kills on 24 total attacks, joining junior Madison Sollows (West Barnstable, Mass.) and Jolly among student-athletes who hit at least .400 or better on the day.

Jolly and Mawhinney each had 13 kills in the match against Queens (N.Y.), won by the Hawks by scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 27-25.

Down by a 15-13 score in the first set, the Hawks rattled off eight of the game's next nine points to build a 23-14 advantage. Saint Anselm could not be cooled off to start the second set, jumping out to an 11-4 lead and ultimately winning the middle stanza by a 25-15 margin.

The Hawks recorded one of the largest comebacks of the young season, rebounding from a 17-9 deficit in the third set to stun the Knights by a 27-25 score in the third set. Jolly recorded six kills on eight swings alone in the third set, helping her team complete the comeback.

Saint Anselm captured a 2-0 lead in the match against Caldwell, notching 25-21 and 25-18 set victories, before dropping a 25-23 set to the Cougars. The Hawks were able to rebound with a 25-20 victory in set four, locking down the 3-1 match win.

Junior Catie McCarthy (Broad Run, Va.) led the Hawks with five kills in the first set against Caldwell as her team combined for 15 kills and 18 digs. Freshman Nique D'Ancona (Larkspur, Calif.) tacked on 10 of those digs to support the winning effort. Saint Anselm committed only two attacking errors in the second set, propelling the Hawks to a 2-0 match lead via a .519 attacking percentage (16-2-27).

Downed by Caldwell in the third set, Saint Anselm pounded home 17 kills in the fourth to take the four-set victory. Senior Jewel Hays (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) set up 16 of her team's 17 total kills while McCarthy led the defensive unit with seven digs.