The Central Connecticut volleyball team posted a 3-2 five set victory over second seed Bryant on Friday night, capturing the 15-13 win in the fifth and final set to advance to the Northeast Conference title game on Saturday vs. LIU Brooklyn. The championship will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The Blue Devils rebounded after dropping the first set 25-15. The took a 2-1 lead with a 26-24 victory in set two, and a 25-22 win in set three. The Bulldogs, who finished in a three-way tie for first place in the regular season with CCSU and LIU Brooklyn, won set four 25-20 to force the fifth and deciding set.
It looked as if Bryant might pull away in the fifth set, but the Blue Devils had other ideas. Trailing 4-0, Central chipped away at the Bryant lead and eventually tied the set 9-9, before taking a 10-9 lead on a kill from sophomore Morgan Woycik. The Blue Devils led 13-11 before the Bulldogs rallied to tie the set 13-13. Central claimed the final two points to win the fifth and deciding set 15-13, and advance to the final on Saturday.
The Blue Devils will face LIU Brooklyn on Saturday at 3 p.m., and look to claim their first-ever NEC title. The Blackbirds defeated Robert Morris 3-1 in the day's first semifinal match. CCSU dropped two matches to LIU this season.
Four Blue Devils posted at least 13 kills in the match, led by sophomore Madelyn Kaprelyan's team-high 16 kills. Freshmen Samantha McCreath and Emma Henderson each added 14 and Woycik ended the match with 13.
Sophomore Erin McDermott led the offense with 32 assists while junior Kaitlyn Kushman added 22 to go along with 14 digs. Senior Lindsey Massicotte led the defense with 23 digs while adding six assists.
Central and LIU will play at 3 p.m. on Saturday at LIU. The match can be viewed live on NEC Front Row.