Junior Jamie Baumert recorded a career high 13 blocks, but the Central Connecticut volleyball team (7-12, 2-2) fell to Sacred Heart (16-9, 3-1) at home Thursday night, by a score of 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 28-26). Sophomore setter Amanda Bayer helped the Blue Devils stay in the match, tallying a team high 28 assists, 13 digs, three aces and three blocks.
CCSU was either leading or tied throughout the first set until Sacred Heart broke a 20-20 tie on a Blue Devil error. Central fought back but lost the first set 23-25 when Pioneer sophomore Mydori Saipale and freshman Brittany Best blocked an attack by CCSU sophomore Tori Vaughan. Sophomore Lauren Snyder led the Blue Devils in the first set with three kills and three digs, while Baumert recorded her first two blocks.
The second set was tightly contested with seven lead changes by the time Central took the lead 12-11 on a block by Baumert and Bayer. Sacred Heart then tied it up again at 17-17 before going on to another 25-23 victory, this time ending with a kill by Best. Best led all players in the set with six kills, while CCSU's senior captain Amanda Olmstead led the Blue Devils with four kills on .500 hitting percentage in the second frame. Baumert tallied four more digs in the second set to increase her match total to six.
The Blue Devils were down 8-10 in the third set when they rattled off eight straight points to take a 16-10 lead. Bayer was instrumental during the stretch. The sophomore setter served throughout and recorded an assist an ace. CCSU cruised to a 25-19 victory, ending with a kills by Snyder off of an assist from freshman Sara DeLacey. Sophomore Kaitlin Petrella led the defense in the set with seven digs. Vaughan and Baumert both recorded three blocks in the third frame, pushing the latter's total to nine.
The fourth and final set was again extremely competitive. There were nine lead changes in the frame, the last one being when the Pioneers to a 26-25 lead on a kill by freshman Maile Hetherington. Sacred Heart went on to win the set, 28-26, and take the match by a score of 3-1. Hetherington recorded a set best six kills and added four digs for the Pioneers. Baumert added another four blocks in the final set to set a new career high of 13. The junior's previous best was in last season's NEC Semifinal loss to Robert Morris, when she collected 11.
Olmstead finished the match with 10 kills, seven digs and three blocks, while Petrella totaled a team best 20 digs for the defense. DeLacey also posted career numbers in blocks, tallying eight for the match. The freshman has been getting increased playing time as the season has progressed and should have a bright future in New Britain.
Hetherington led Sacred Heart with 19 kills and added 13 digs and three aces. Sophomore setter Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek led all players in the match with 46 assists. Freshman Ashlyn Trimble was integral to both the offense and defense, tallying 15 kills and 13 digs, while freshman Jessica Colberg led all players with 21 digs.
Central Connecticut falls to 7-12 on the season and 2-2 in NEC
action. They will next be playing on the road against Fairleigh
Dickinson on Saturday November 1 at 1:00 p.m. Sacred Heart
improves to 16-9 this year and moves ahead of CCSU with an NEC
record of 3-1. The Pioneers will next be hosting St. Francis (PA)
on Saturday November 8 at 2:00 p.m.