CCSU Falls to Sacred Heart in NEC Semifinal
Central Connecticut State University was elimated from the Northeast Conference Tournament by Sacred Heart for the second straight year on Saturday afternoon. The second seed Pioneers top the third seed Blue Devils 3-0 (25-18, 30-28, 25-17) at Long Island University. Senior captain Jamie Baumert recorded eight blocks to give her 154 on the season. It marked the most ever in a single season by a CCSU player.
Baumert's eight blocks were a match high, while her eight kills tied for the top offensive output by a Blue Devil on Saturday. Freshman Emily Cochran, the 2009 NEC Rookie of the Year, also recorded eight kills and added a CCSU best 16 digs in the defeat.
A trio of junior were also integral in keeping the Blue Devils in the match with the Pioneers. Captain Amanda Bayer tallied 21 assists and added 15 digs and three blocks, while Tori Vaughan recorded six kills and five blocsk for CCSU. Kaitlin Petrella, the Libero of the Year in the NEC, notched 11 digs on the afternoon.
After falling in the first set, 25-18, Central fought back to send the second frame into extra points. Sacred Heart took the second set 30-28 on a kill that grazed a Blue Devil player at the net and landed out of bounds. Down 2-0, CCSU lost the lead on the first play of the third set and never caught up. SHU went on to win the final set 25-17 and take the match 3-0 to advance to the NEC Championship against Long Island on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Three Pioneers finished in double figure kills in the victory. Brittany Best recorded 12, while Ashlyn Trimble and Maile Hetherington totaled 10 for Sacred Heart. Setter Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek's 44 assists and libero Jessica Colberg's 36 digs were match bests.
Central finishes the season at 18-15.