The Central Connecticut volleyball team opened its season at the Stetson Invitational on Friday, splitting a pair of matches. The Blue Devils fell, 3-0, to Florida Atlantic in the opening match, before downing Stetson, 3-2, in the evening match.
CCSU will return to action on Saturday against Stephen F. Austin.
MATCH 1: Florida Atlantic 3, CCSU 0
The Owls took the day's opening match in a tight contest, downing the Blue Devils, 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-23).
Sophomore Morgan Woycik led Central with eight kills and added three blocks, while junior Raquel Quirarted added seven kills, six digs and, two assists. Junior Kaitlyn Kushman had 17 assists, while sophomore Erin McDermott added 14 assists.
Central led for the early going of the opening set before FAU broke a 16-16 tie with three straight points to take the lead for good. The Owls would score the final three points of the set to win 25-19.
The Blue Devils opened the second set with the first two points and would take a 5-3 lead following a block by freshman Eline van Heijningen and Woycik. The Owls bounced back with six unanswered points to take the lead and would go on to claim a 25-17 win in the set.
In the third set, Central would take its largest lead of the set following a kill by sophomore Gala Galabova and an ace by senior Maddie Smith to make it 10-7. FAU would build a lead of 22-16 before CCSU used a 7-2 run to close within a point after an ace by freshman Ashlyn Eisenga. The Owls would recover to close out the set, 25-23, and win the match.
Sigourney Kame had a match-high 11 kills. Ivone Martinez finished with 42 assists for the Owls.
MATCH 2: CCSU 3, Stetson 2
The Blue Devils earned their first win of the season by defeating the tournament hosts, 3-2 (25-21, 15-25, 25-15, 25-27, 15-12), in the evening match. Woycik had a team-high 15 kills and freshman Samantha McCreath added 10 kills. Kushman had 22 assists and McDermott added 20. Senior Lindsey Massicotte had 33 digs.
The Blue Devils would erase a 17-15 deficit by scoring four straight points to take the lead for good in the opening set. Stetson would get within two points, but consecutive kills by McCreath and Quirarte would close out the set.
Stetson rebounded to take the second set, using a run of four straight points to close out the set and even the match. Central turned around in the third set and scored the first four points and led throughout in a 25-15 win in the set.
The teams went back-and-forth in the fourth set. CCSU would lead, 14-10, before Stetson scrapped back to tie it at 18-18. The set would remain close and a kill by McCreath would tie the score at 25-all, but Stetson would score the next two points to even the match.
The Blue Devils would gain the advantage in the decisive set with two straight points to break a tie at 9-9. A kill by Woycik forced a timeout from Stetson after CCSU went ahead, 11-9. The Blue Devils would lead the rest of the way and McCreath would end the match with a kill to give CCSU the win.
Central is back in action on Saturday against Stephen F. Austin at 1:30 p.m.