The Central Connecticut volleyball team captured an exciting five set match with Grand Canyon University on Friday evening. The victory gave the Blue Devils a split of their day one matches at the Big Green Invitational hosted by Dartmouth. CCSU (3-5) dropped the first two sets before winning three straight to capture the match.
The Blue Devils dropped the opening set 25-17 and the second set 25-18.
Facing elimination in the third set, the Blue Devils trailed 24-23 before back-to-back kills by sophomore Heather Trueman and freshman Brooke Schwab gave CCSU a 25-24 advantage.
The teams traded points, with CCSU finally able to obtain a two-point advantage to win the set on a kill by freshman Cassidy Stankowski and a service ace by senior Amalia Ashley. Stankowski and Ashley scored CCSU's 28th and 29th points in the 29-27 victory.
In the fourth set, the Blue Devils pulled away on a run of five straight serves by Ashley that each resulted in a CCSU point. Central eventually won the set 25-21.
The fifth set was back and forth and featured scoring runs on both sides. CCSU opened the set on an 8-2 run, but GCU (2-5) used its own scoring streak to take an 11-9 advantage. The Blue Devils recaptured the lead on a pair of kills by senior Veronika Ban and held on to win the set 15-12.
Sophomore Makenna Lommori posted 53 assists. She was feeding three primary hitters. Stankowski (16), Trueman (15) and Ban (15) led CCSU in kills.
Defensively, senior Rachel Dunlap led the charge at the net with 12 total blocks. As a team the Blue Devils recorded 28 blocks with six different players contributing.
Ashley led the reception defense with 23 digs. Junior Brittany Schumacher (18), Lommori (13), Stankowski (12) and Trueman (11) were also in double-digits.
The Blue Devils will play Providence and Manhattan College tomorrow to complete the tournament.