Junior Kaitlin Petrella recorded 32 digs, the most by any Blue Devil since the 2007 season, but Central Connecticut State University fell to Robert Morris at home by a score of 3-2 (27-25, 17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 16-14). The last time a CCSU player reached the 30 dig plateau was when Petrella tallied 32 in an October 27 match against Robert Morris during her freshman year. Central and RMU traded sets until the Colonials defeated the Blue Devils 16-14 in the fifth set to improve to 7-3 in Northeast Conference play. CCSU falls to 7-3 in the conference with an overall record of 13-13.
It was the Blue Devils who got off to a strong start, taking a 21-16 lead on a kill by freshman Blaike King. Robert Morris then went on a 9-4 run to steal the first set in extra points, 27-25. Freshman Amand Craig tallied the final to points of the set for the Colonials.
After breaking a 1-1 tie on a service error by the Colonials, CCSU led the rest of the second set and tied the match with a 25-17 victory. Freshman Emily Cochran was integral in the set, recording six kills and three digs.
The back-and-forth action continued in set three, with Robert Morris taking control. After getting out to a 15-9 lead midway through the set, it was the Blue Devils that made the run this time. CCSU scored 10 points to RMU's four during a stretch to tie the set at 19-19 on an ace by junior Amanda Bayer. The Colonials broke the tie on a kill by junior Amanda Graham and went on to take a 2-1 lead with a 25-23 victory.
The Blue Devils fired right back, taking the fourth set 25-21 and forcing a fifth. This time it was King leading the way, as she tallied five kills in the set. Petrella led the defense with seven digs, while Bayer recorded nine assists.
It looked like RMU was going to run away with the fifth and final set, scoring the first four points and going on to take a 6-1 lead. Central fought back and tied the set, at 13-13 when a diving dig by Bayer led to a block by sophomore Sara DeLacey and junior Tori Vaughan. Robert Morris finally finished off CCSU on a kill by Craig that made it 16-14.
Four Blue Devils other than Petrella finished with double-digit digs. Bayer tallied 25 to go along with 45 assists and two aces, while Cochran finished with 18 digs, 16 kills, two aces and two blocks. King and sophomore Danielle Gasser each recorded 13 digs in the match, with the former leading CCSU with 20 kills. Vaughan ended the match with six blocks, while DeLacey tallied four for the Blue Devils.
Graham and Craig finished with 13 and 12 kills for Robert Morris, respectively. Junior Corinne Moser recorded 30 digs and sophomore Alyssa Bennett finished with 44 assits.
Central will hit the court again tomorrow, hosting St. Francis (PA) at 2:00 p.m.