September 3, 2008

Volleyball Falls to Defending Big East Champ St. John's, 3-0

The Central Connecticut women's volleyball team lost to defending Big East champion St. John's Wednesday night at Detrick Gymnasium. The Red Storm, who made it all the way to the Sweet 16 of last year's NCAA Tournament defeated the Blue Devils 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 27-25). Sophomore Lauren Snyder led CCSU with 12 kills, eight digs and two service aces in the loss.

The Blue Devils kept the first set close until St. John's score six straight points on senior Casie Brooks serves to make it 14-6. The Red Storm never looked back from there as they defeated Central 25-12 in the first set. Snyder and senior Amanda Olmstead led CCSU with two kills each in the set.

In the second set, St. John's got off to a quick start as they led 9-3 early. Central then went on a 7-3 run to close it to 12-10. Sophomore Amanda Bayer had two integral kills in the sequence. In both cases she faked a set and caught the Red Storm by surprise as she notched two points for the Blue Devils. St. John's went on to win the set 25-17, ending on a kill by senior Wioleta Leszczynska. Sophomores Kaitlin Petrella and Maite Mendizabal each tallied four digs in the set to keep CCSU in it.

The third set was close throughout, with 11 ties and six lead changes in the set. The only room for comfort St. John's had was when they were up 14-9 midway through the set. The Blue Devils then went on a 10-5 run to tie the score at 19-19. Olmstead and Bayer rallied the CCSU run as they recorded two kills and four assists, respectively. The two teams battled into extra points with the Red Storm finally taking the set by a score of 27-25. Snyder ended with seven kills in the final set and Bayer tallied 12 assists.

Bayer finished the match with a team high 22 assists and six digs. Petrella led the Blue Devils with eight digs on the night, while Mendizabal chipped in with five kills and seven digs. Olmstead and sophomore Tori Vaughan led CCSU with four blocks a piece.

Senior Valeria Kovaleva led the Red Storm with 12 kills and added seven digs. Brooks finished with a game high 15 digs for St. John's, while Leszczynska paced the Red Storm with 32 assists, 12 digs and six kills.

Central Connecticut will travel on the road for the first time as they face Holy Cross on Wednesday September 10 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils will then be competing in the Harvard Invitational on September 12 and 13.