Blue Devils Drop First Northeast Conference Match, Fall to LIU, 3-2
Senior captain Jamie Baumert, junior Tori Vaughan and sophomore Sara DeLacey combined for 19 blocks, but Central Connecticut State University dropped its first Northeast Conference match of the season in a 3-2 (25-17, 13-25, 25-27, 29-27, 15-12) loss at home to defending NEC Champion Long Island. Baumert also recorded a team high 18 kills, while junior captain Amanda Bayer tallied 43 assists and 17 digs in the defeat.
After Long Island went on a 15-6 run to win the opening set by a score of 25-17, CCSU took the lead in set two scoring the first seven points behind the service of freshman Emily Cochran. The Blue Devils extended their lead to 12 when an ace by Bayer gave Central a 19-7 lead. The two teams remained even for the rest of the set and CCSU tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-13 second set victory. Bayer and junior Kaitlin Petrella were integral on defense in the set, tallying six and eight digs, respectively.
The Blackbirds got right back into the match as the third set saw 11 ties and went into extra points to determine the winner. The Blue Devils broke the final tie when Baumert recorded a kill off an assist from Bayer to give CCSU a 26-25 lead that would lead to a 27-25 win and put Central up 2-1. The third set was when the Blue Devils started using their blocking ability as advantage. In the first two sets Central had two total blocks, but in set three Baumert, Vaughan and DeLacey combined for seven blocks to put CCSU on top.
It took extra points again in set four, but this time it was Long Island that came out victorious. Down 27-26, the Blackbirds scored the final three points of the set to win 29-27 and send the match into a fifth set. Junior Zuzana Buchlova and senior Svetlana Simic both recorded kills in the late run. CCSU was led by Cochran's eight kills in the set.
After breaking an 8-8 tie in the fifth set, Long Island never gave up the lead and went on to win the final frame by a mark of 15-12 and took the match, 3-2. Freshman Breanna Cullity tallied the final kill of the match for the Blackbirds.
Petrella finished with a team high 25 digs in the match, while Cochran tallied 12 kills and 11 digs for the Blue Devils. Vaughan and freshman Blaike King each chipped in with seven kills. Vaughan and DeLacey finished with seven blocks to lead CCSU, while Baumert tallied five in the loss.
Long Island was led by senior Martina Racic's 22 kills, senior Dunja Milin's 57 assists and sophomore Chelsey Stanton's 35 digs.
Central falls to 12-10 on the season and 6-1 in the NEC, while LIU improves to 11-13 overall and 8-0 in conference play. CCSU will next play at non-conference foe Rhode Island on Wednesday October 21 at 7:00 p.m.