The Mack Report

Volleyball: Merrimack Picks Up NE-10 Win Over AIC

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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Junior outside hitter Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y.) and freshman Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass.) of the Merrimack College women’s volleyball team powered the Warriors’ offense to a big 3-1 win over AIC at Hammel Court Saturday afternoon. Both student athleties recorded double digits in both kills and digs. Sheehan had 12 kills and 15 digs, while Cain notched 11 kills and 14 digs. Merrimack moved into sixth place in the Northeast-10 as they search for their first playoff berth since 2009.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 3 |
 American International 1
Records: Merrimack (13-13, 7-4) |
 American International (12-14, 6-6)
Location:
 Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.  

How It Happened
Senior Jackie Jones (Amherst, N.H.) amassed an impressive 13 kills, four digs, and three blocks. Junior Aliya Winker (Arlington, Va.) and junior Corrine Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) wrecked havoc with AIC’s offense as they combined for 10 blocks between them. Winker had seven kills, five blocks, and a dig, while Gosselin had six kills, five blocks, and three digs. Rookie Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.) assisted 47 points and eight digs, whiel sophomore Madison Burke (San Jose, Calif.) chimed in with 18 digs.

Merrimack controlled the momentum in set one as they surged out to a 10-9 lead which shortly became a 20-10 lead. After the Warriors went on a 10-0 run, the Navy and Gold secured set one, 25-13.

With Merrimack controlling the pace of the match, American International caught the Warriors off guard. It was a point-by-point battle between the two teams, tying the game at 20-all. Merrimack went on a 3-1 run to bring the score to 23-21. Merrimack battled hard but lost the second set, 28-26.

In the third set, AIC took an early 6-3 lead before Merrimack rallied back to bring the score to 14-12. With the score at 18-13, Merrimack went on a 4-0 run to bring the score within three points. With the set tied at 24-24, Merrimack finished strong on a 3-0 run to end the set 29-27.

It was a quick fourth set for the Yellow Jackets, as they could not stop the Warriors’ offense from scoring. Merrimack ended the final set and match 25-15.

A Closer Look

  • Merrimack finished the afternoon with 53 kills, 52 assists, 70 digs, and 20 blocks.
  • Melanie Garcia led the Yellow Jackets with a double-double, 12 kills and 13 digs.
  • AIC finished the match with a .139 kill percentage, while Merrimack averaged a .193 hitting percentage.
  • Stuhr and Jones contributed four and three blocks each, respectively.
  • Sheehan led the Navy and Gold with eight service aces.

What They Said

“This was a huge win for us, as we start winding down the season and the Northeast-10 Championship is just around the corner,” said head coach TJ Hajjar. “We played with a lot of intensity and did not let up. I am very happy with the win and now have to focus our attention to Saint Michael’s on Tuesday night.”

NE-10 Standings

1. New Haven (12-0)
2. Bentley (9-2)
3. Saint Rose (9-3)
4. Stonehill (8-3)
5. Adelphi (9-4)
6. Merrimack (7-4)
T7. Franklin Pierce (7-5)
T7. So. New Hampshire (7-5)
9. American International (6-6)
10. So. Connecticut (4-6)
T11. Saint Michael’s (3-8)
T11. Le Moyne (3-8)
13. Saint Anselm (2-10)
14. Assumption (2-11)
15. Pace (0-13)

Up Next
The Warriors return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 12 when they play host to the Purple Knights of Saint Michael’s College on Senior night. The match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.