The Central Connecticut volleyball team upended LIU Brooklyn, 3-1, Saturday in a rematch of last season's Northeast Conference championship match. The Blue Devils earned the on Senior Day after honoring the senior trio of Kaitlyn Kushman, Raquel Quirarte and team manager Jenna Tiezzi. The win improves CCSU to 13-12 overall and 9-4 in the NEC.
The Blue Devils will face second-seeded Bryant in the semifinals of the NEC Tournament on Friday, Nov. 16.
The win was the first over LIU Brooklyn since Nov. 13, 2010, a span of 19 matches.
Quirarte had a match-high 14 kills along with seven digs and four blocks. Kushman added 10 digs in their final home match at CCSU.
Junior Madelyn Kaprelyan had 11 kills and 18 assists, while junior Erin McDermott had 25 assists and eight digs. Sophomore Emma Henderson had eight kills, 13 digs and 5 blocks. Junior Gala Galabova had seven blocks as CCSU collected 18 blocks as a team.
The Blue Devils took control of the match early, erasing a five-point deficit in the opening game, and closing with four straight points to win the opening game, 25-22. Galabova and classmate Morgan Woycik each had two kills to close the set.
Central continued the strong play in game two. The teams were close throughout, but CCSU scored the final three points and took a 2-0 lead after Henderson served an ace to win the set, 25-21.
The Blackbirds would hold off CCSU, 25-21, in the third game, but the Blue Devils would rebound in the fourth game. The teams were tied 10-10 before Woycik and Henderson had kills to put CCSU in front for good. The Blue Devils would extend the lead to as much as 24-15 before LIU scored three in a row to mount a mini rally. Henderson would close the match with a kill, 25-18.