Junior Maite Mendizabal recorded a match-best 16 kills and added eight digs as the Central Connecticut State University volleyball team defeated Holy Cross (1-8) by a score of 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 26-24) on Tuesday night in Detrick Gymnasium. Junior captain Amanda Bayer recorded a match high 38 assists and added 15 digs to help CCSU improve to 3-4 on the season.
Neither team could get an edge to start the match. CCSU and Holy Cross were tied nine times before the score read 17-15, when the Crusaders held the slight advantage. The Blue Devils rattled off eight straight points, beginning with a kill by Mendizabal and ending with an ace by senior captain Jamie Baumert. Central went on to win the first set 25-18. Mendizabal lit it up to start the match, recording seven kills on a .600 hitting percentage.
The second set started just like the first, but stayed that way. Neither team led by more than three points the entire set, with the Crusaders holding their three point advantage at 15-12. CCSU went on an 11-5 run to turn the tables and take a 23-20 lead. Holy Cross would call a time out, but the Blue Devils would hold on to win the second set 25-23. Mendizabal and Baumert each totaled four kills in the set, while freshman Blaike King led the defense with five digs.
After CCSU cut Holy Cross's third set lead to one at 10-9, the Crusaders went on a 7-1 run to take control of the set. Holy Cross was led by Chelsey O'Donnell during the stretch, recording three assists and a kill. The Blue Devils wouldn't get closer than three the rest of the way out as the Crusaders made it 2-1 on a 25-21 third set victory. King tallied a team high five kills in the set, while Bayer contributed nine assists and eight digs.
With their home crowd behind them, the Blue Devils got out to the early lead they needed in the fourth set, leading 14-7. Holy Cross then made another huge run, this time a 10-1 stretch, to take a 17-15 lead. CCSU fought back and eventually regained the lead at 21-20. After scoring the next two points, one on a block by Baumert and Bayer, the Crusaders made another run to tie the set at 24. Needing to win by two at this point, Central scored the final two points of the match with a kill by Mendizabal and an attacking error by Holy Cross to win the fourth set 26-24.
Baumert finished with seven kills, five digs and a match-best five blocks, while King tallied nine kills and 12 digs in the victory. Sophomore Sara DeLacey also recorded seven kills, while junior Kaitlin Petrella led the defense with 17 digs on the night.
Holy Cross was led by Megan Lynch's 13 kills and 20 digs. The Crusaders also received 37 assists and seven digs from O'Donnell.
Central will next head on the road to the Dartmouth Invitational on September 18 and 19. The Blue Devils will take on Northeastern on Friday and then face the host Big Green and Northeast Conference foe Sacred Heart on Saturday.