Central Connecticut State University won its four straight match to improve to 17-13 overall and 11-3 in Northeast Conference play with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-14, 13-25, 25-16) home victory over Bryant (10-22, 5-9) Wednesday night. Sophomore Sara DeLacey recorded a career high 11 blocks to go along with six kills on .417 hitting percentage to lead the Blue Devils. CCSU has clinched a berth in the NEC Tournament, but will finish out the regular season with road matches against Long Island and St. Francis (NY) this weekend.
The opening set was tightly contested, with six ties by the time it was 11-11. Central broke the final tie on a Bryant service error and never gave it up on the way to a 25-20 win. The freshman duo of Emily Cochran and Blaike King got the Blue Devils off to the good start, tallying four kills each in the set.
Set two was not as competitive as CCSU scored the first three points and led the entire way. The Bulldogs cut it back to two, at 11-9, on a kill by sophomore Jazmin Stoner. Central tallied the next five points, including back to back blocks by DeLacey and junior Tori Vaughan, and cruised to a 25-14 victory. The Blue Devils recorded nine team blocks in the set, with DeLacey notching six block assists and Vaughan being responsible for one solo block and four block assists.
Bryant fought back as they scored the first eight points of the third set. Sophomore Maria Scocca was integral during the stretch, recording three blocks. The Blue Devils never got as close as seven the rest of the way and the Bulldogs won the third set 25-13. The tables were turned in the third frame as Bryant recorded seven team blocks to CCSU's one.
After losing the first two points of the fourth set, Central scored four in a row to take a 4-2 lead. The Bulldogs came back to tie the set at 8-8, but a kill by senior Jamie Baumert put the Blue Devils up for good. CCSU went on to win the fourth and final set 25-16 on a kill by Cochran. Baumert finished the set with four kills, while Cochran tallied three kills and seven digs in the final frame.
DeLacey, Vaughan and Baumert combined for 27 blocks on the night, with Vaughan and Baumert finishing with nine and seven, respectively. They both recorded eight kills as well. It was King that led the Blue Devils on offense with 11 in the match, while Cochran was alos in double figures with 10. Cochran's 15 digs were also best for CCSU, while junior Kaitlin Petrella tallied 14 in the category. Sophomore Danielle Gasser recorded a match-best and career high 38 assists in the victory.
Bryant was led by Stoner with 19 kills and 11 digs. It was junior Robyn Gardner leading the way on defense with 16 digs and six blocks, respectively.