Volleyball Falls in NEC Opener

Volleyball Falls in NEC Opener

The Central Connecticut volleyball team came out strong but fell late against Long Island, in the Blue Devils' first NEC match of the season. LIU (9-9, 1-0) lost the first set to CCSU (4-11, 0-1) before defeating the Blue Devils in three straight to grab their first Northeast Conference win on Saturday at Detrick Gymnasium.

The first set was full of intense action with nine ties throughout. Every time Long Island tied the score Central would counter and they never trailed in the set, taking it 25-23. Junior Jamie Baumert got out to a great start with seven kills and two blocks in the opening set.

With an evenly matched second set under way, Central scored four straight points to take their lead to 18-13 on a block by Baumert and sophomore Tori Vaughan. The Blackbirds fought back with a 4-0 run of their own to cut the Blue Devil lead to 18-17. Senior Martina Racic was integral in the run, tallying two kills and a block assist. LIU then went on to take the second set 25-23.

In the third set, Long Island took the lead after a 12-12 tie and never looked back. The Blackbirds took a 2-1 lead with a 25-20 win in the third set when junior Svetlana Simic tallied her ninth kill of the period. Senior captain Amanda Olmstead led CCSU in the set with four, one dig and a service ace.

The Blue Devils came out with a strong start in the fourth and final set, leading LIU 7-6 early. The Blackbirds then scored three straight points and failed to lose the lead from that point on. Simic ended the match with her match high 27th kill and won the set for Long Island, 25-21. Sophomore Lauren Snyder finished the final set with five kills, on .455 hitting percentage, and three digs.

Baumert finished the match with team highs in kills and blocks with 16 and five, respectively. Snyder chipped in 15 kills, seven digs, two blocks and two service aces in the loss. Sophomores Amanda Bayer led the Blue Devils with 41 assists, while sophomore Kaitlin Petrella had a team high 16 digs for CCSU. Bayer also added 13 digs. Olmstead finished the day with 12 kills and three aces.

Simic led the Blackbirds with 15 digs to go along with her 27 kills. Freshman setter Chelsey Stanton recorded a match high 51 assists and added 13 digs in the victory. Racic finished the match with 16 kills and 11 digs for Long Island.

The Blue Devils are now 4-11 on the season and will next be traveling to Providence on Tuesday October 14 for a 7:00 p.m. match. Long Island improves to 9-9 and will next be playing at Bryant on Saturday October 18 at 5:00 p.m.