Freshman Emily Cochran recorded 19 kills and 18 to digs to lead Central Connecticut State University to a 3-1 (25-16, 16-25, 32-30, 26-24) victory over visiting Sacred Heart on Friday evening. CCSU avenged two losses to the Pioneers earlier in the season and improve to 15-13 overall and 9-3 in the Northeast Conference. Sacred Heart is also now 9-3 in the NEC and 19-9 on the season.
After each team took one 25-16 decision each, the final two sets were decided in extra points. The Blue Devils broke a 4-4 tie in the first set and led the rest of the way en route to their 25-16 victory. In set two it was the Pioneers breaking an early tie, 3-3, and leading their way to a 25-16 win.
Sacred Heart took the lead in the third set when freshman Elise Sage recorded a kill to make it 12-11. The Pioneers increased their lead to as many as six, at 19-13, before the Blue Devils went on 11-5 run to tie the set at 24. The two teams exchanged points until the score was 30-30. Junior captain Amanda Bayer fed Cochran for a kill to make it 31-30 and then Bayer aced Sacred Heart to give CCSU the 32-20 win.
It was the Blue Devils that took the lead in the fourth set, breaking a 6-6 tie and stretching it to 18-10 before Sacred Heart made another run. The Pioneers scored six straight points, including two blocks by freshman Johanna Ovsenek to cut the Central lead 1o 18-16. Sacred Heart continued to fight back, tieing the set at 21-21 on a kill by sophomore Brittany Best. After a block by junior Tori Vaughan and sophomore Sara DeLacey game CCSU a 24-23 lead, the Pioneers tied the set once again. A ball-handling error on SHU and a kill by Vaughan gave the Blue Devils a 26-24 win.
CCSU's 3-1 victory now puts them tied with Sacred Heart for second place in the NEC standings.
Bayer finished with 35 assists, nine digs and five blocks in the match, while senior captain Jamie Baumert tallied six kills, five digs and a match-best nine blocks. DeLacey and Vaughan were right with the captain, recording eight and seven blocks, respectively. Junior Kaitlin Petrella led the Blue Devils with 22 digs, while sophomore Danielle Gasser chipped in with 13.
Ovsenek finished with 17 kills and seven blocks for the Pioneers, while junior Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek recorded a match high 53 assists. Sophomore Ashlyn Trimble and Best tallied 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Best also had a match-best 26 digs, while sophomore Jessica Colberg chipped in with 22.
CCSU will be back on the court tomorrow, Saturday, playing host to Fairleigh Dickinson at 3:00 p.m.