by David F.P. [Modest 2008 CCSU Volleyball Image Gallery]
New Britain, CT- As people rushed home to start their Labor Day weekends four teams made their way to Central Connecticut State University’s Detrick Gymnasium for a two day round robin tournament. The opening match was between the Stony Brook Seawolves and the Iona Gaels.
Stony Brook vs. Iona
In Set 1, Stony Brook’s Jessica Graham and Alicia Nelson got the team off two a 0-2 lead before Iona’s Molly O’Shea and Sarah Wiener picked up a pair of points to tie the set at 2-2. The two sides traded points before Iona went on a run going from 3-3 to a 10-4 lead over the Seawolves thanks in part to Wiener hitting a few shots to gaps in the SBU defense. Kendall Paulus picked up a point with a tap over as well. Stony Brook’s Lisa Doremus attacked and the defense could only get a hand on the ball to make the score 10-5. Jeanette Gibbs than served up an Ace on the following play to bring it to 10-6 before Paulus knocked a ball off the block to the floor for another Iona point. A serve out of bounds gave a point and the ball to SBU and another point would follow before Iona took off on another run including a Paulus smash and the score was soon 15-10, despite a spike from Graham off the Gael’s defense for a point.
The Seawolves struck back with a kill from Gulce Nazli Dikecligil to make it 15-11, and Doremus picked up a point as well to bring it to 15-12. A big rally ensued at the next but Iona knocked it out of bounds to make it 15-13, and another Stony Brook point followed. Doremus and Nelson had a block to tie the score at 15. When a serve sailed out of bounds Iona retook the lead and the serve and went on another run. Colleen Genett had a spike, and Wiener smashed an attack just in bounds. The teams traded points a pair of times to bring the score to 19-17, but Iona picked up three more straight points to keep up the pressure thanks in part to Genett and Paulus. Ashley Headen’s attack for Stony Brook on the next point was two hit by Iona to break their run, but Rachel Whitten picked up a kill for Iona to bring her team within 2 points of the win. An Iona serve into the net gave a point back to Stony Brook, but Paulus smashed a shot to the corner to make it 24-19. O’Shea and Alyssa Erickson then combined on a block for the 25-19 win.
Set 2 began with Iona pulling out to a 5-2 lead with Wiener picking up a pair of points and Erickson and Genett combining on a block though Dikecligil and Graham also had some smashes for the Seawolves. Stony Brook then came back to tie things up at 7-7 including when Ashley Headen tapped a ball over the defense and a variety of Iona errors. Paulus responded with a spike off the defense to put it at 7-8, and a pair of kills from Dikecligil and O’Shea traded points opening up a sequence of points going back and forth with O’Shea and Wiener picking up kills, and Doremus and Graham scoring for their teams respectively. Erickson then served up an ace to give Iona the lead, but Doremus sent an attack frying off the IC defense and out of bounds. Her teammate Headen whacked a massive smash over the webbing for another lead, but Whitten spiked Iona back to a tie.
Iona was then off to the races, capitalizing on an SBU error, a Wiener ace, Paulus and Whitten’s kills, and a shot out of serve out of bounds by SBU to put the score at 19-16. Dikecligil picked up some kills for the Wolves, but Iona kept going scoring until they reached a 23-17 lead. With victory two points away, Iona gave up a pair of points to a Doremus attack, and a Dikecligil service ace, and then errored to a 23-19 score. But they scored on the next exchange to make it 24-19. Gibbs then tapped a shot behind the Iona defense to bring Stony Brook within 4, and Doremus and Headen combined on a block. It was now 24-21 and a time out was called. Headen emerged from the TO and blocked another Iona attack. It was now 24-22 Iona. Another time out was not surprisingly called, but when it ended Wiener closed the door with a kill to bring Iona a 2-0 lead in the match.
The two teams opened Set 3 with a fairly even exchange of points from the usual suspects. With the score 4-4, Iona took off on another scoring run and when the dust cleared it was 10-6 Iona thanks helped in part to some great defense and some big kills. Dikecligil broke the 6-2 run with a big kill and it was 10-7. The Seawolves touched off a run of their own pulling back to 11-11 thanks to Pualus and Dikecligil in part, though Wiener hit a shot to a defensive gap to put the Gaels up by 2. Iona not surprisingly kept the momentum going and following a supreme kill from SBU’s Doremus, Iona picked up points on a Genett and Wiener block, and some SBU errors. It was 16-12 when SBU scored on an IC error and the Seawolves kept up the scoring when Graham smacked an ace off her serve, followed by a second when the ball hit the net, slowed down and caught the defense out of position. Genett delivered a kill with authority to bring the lead back to two at 17-15 though. More errors followed and the score was 18-18. Dikecligil smashed a shot from left to right across the net for the lead, but O’Shea blocked to a gap to tie it back up 19-19. The two sides battled back and forth point for point and the score was soon 24-24. Wiener broke the logjam with an attack to put Iona one point away from the set and match victory, but it would be a Stony Brook 4 hit error that brought Iona it’s 26th point and the win.
Bucknell vs. Central Connecticut
The evening game the home Blue Devils and the visiting Bucknell Bison. Set 1 opened with the longest rally of the day with each side fighting for the first point, the ball went back and forth until Central’s Lauren Snyder smacked a shot off the defense out of bounds. The two sides traded points and Bucknell’s Kaitlin Segal came up with a huge kill to tie the set at 2. Tori Vaughan and Jamie Baumert combined on a block to touch off a mini run for CCSU followed by a pair of point so put the score at 5-2, but the Bison scored again and it was 5-3.
Baumert delivered two straight kills to extend the Blue Devil lead, but Heidi Kamp had a kill of her own for BU, to pull back within 3. Maite Mendizabal spiked the blue and white back to an 8-4 advantage and the Devil’s kept going all the way to 11-5. Laura Hansen had a block, and Amanda Olmstead came up with two kills to help build the lead.
The Bison benefited from a CCSU serve out of bounds, and then picked up an Ace thanks to Liz Hazukua’s serving. Hazukua hit a smash to the defense’s left corner and her team was back within 3. Olmstead put an end to the opponent’s scoring streak with another kill and it was 12-8.
Bucknell responded with a smash kill, and Snyder had her own kill in kind to pick a point back up. Segal picked up a kill on the next play for the Orange and Blue, but a confusing shot from CCSU won another point for the home team. Segal responded with a shot the Devil’s didn’t manage to return but lost the advantage on a serve out of bounds. Kyleigh McAhren and Kamp picked up a pair of BU points before Baumert’s big kill put CCSU back up by 3. Central would play some great defense before knocking a shot out of bounds to put Bucknell back within 2, but Mendizabal had a kill to put the lead back to 3. Errors would follow until Bucknell had reached a tie game 17-17, and Segal picked up a kill to take the lead. Mendizabal responded tying the game back up. A pair of BU errors put Central back up by 2, but CCSU gave a point back knocking a ball out of bounds. Snyder had a kill off the defense to the floor and Central had a great save on the following play only to have the point go Bucknell’s way. It was now 21-20 and Baumert smashed a kill to the D’s right corner. Bucknell responded and it was 22-21 but an error put the CCSU with a 23-21 lead. Kamp kept Bucknell in it with a tap over the defense. Baumert found another gap to exploit and shot an attack into it to put Central 1 away from the win. It wouldn’t be that easy as Hazukua picked up a kill for the visitors and Central spiked a shot out of bounds. With the score 24-24, Mendizabal’s spike flew off the defense and into the seats, but the Blue Devils needed to win by 2, and Bucknell would not cooperate earning another point and it was 25-25. The Bison spiked a ball out of bounds on the next play and Central had a 26-25 lead, but Segal’s kill to a gap in the Blue Devil D tied it up again. Snyder shot a kill over to regain the Central lead and the set ended on a Bucknell error.
Set 2 would began with a Bucknell serve out of bounds, and an Ace off the hands of Amanda Bayer of CCSU. With the score 2-0, Bucknell’s Anne Ellenberger tapped a ball over to make it 2-1, but a big kill from Central would make it 3-1, and Olmstead would smash an Ace over when BU couldn’t set up a return. A shot into the net made it 5-1 Central, and Snyder’s spike made it 6-1. Bucknell pulled themselves back up with a spike to a gap in the CCSU D, a CCSU shot into the net, and Segal’s serve hitting the net and dropping to the floor catching Central unable to return it. A Bucknell error ended their comeback and it was 7-4. Snyder picked up a pair of aces. Bucknell called a time out. Kamp came out of the TO with a kill to make it 9-5 and a missed setup by the blue and white made it 9-6, but Mendizabal’s attack put the Devils up by 4 again, though a tap to a gap in the D by Bucknell cut the lead to 3. A spike out of bounds by CCSU made it 10-8 but Bucknell served into the net and it was 11-8. Central then proceeded to roll to an 18-8 lead featuring a block from Olmstead and Hansen as well as a spike from Olmstead and a tap attack from her as well. For the 18th point, the defense came up with a big time save deep out of bounds to keep the ball alive and lead to an eventual point. Central’s run came to an end when a ball was hit out of bounds, but Olmstead came up with a huge kill to put the lead back at 10, and Snyder added her own to make it a 20-9 lead.
Things continued to go down hill as BU spiked a shot into the net, and Snyder had a massive spike to make it 22-9. But Central served into the net, and the Bison made an effort to fight back though some good Blue Devil D and a spike out of bounds put Bucknell down 24-10. Segal didn’t give up and picked up a kill, and Kamp followed that with a tap in to halve the lead, but a four hit error would follow and Central had the set win 25-12.
Set 3 began as a very even affair, with the two teams basically trading points back and forth until the score was 6-6 including kills from Olmstead, Baumert, Vaughan and Mendizabal for the Blue Devils, and Kamp for the Bison. Central picked up points off a pair of BU errors, but McAhren and Allison Gittings’ block for the Bison put the score back at 8-7. The battling continued all the way to a 16-16 tie with Snyder scoring on a spike, Olmstead who having an Ace along the way. Baumert knocked a spike off the blockers as well. On the Bucknell side, Lindsay Smith, and Shannon Pitsch had some points as well as Segal.
A backhand return gave BU their 15th point as well, and it was Baumert who responded to Bucknell taking the lead with a kill to tie it up at 16-16. A BU two hit error followed and Baumert shot an Ace just in bounds to make it 18-16. McAhren and Katie Baumgarten picked up two straight kills to even it up again, but a spike out of bounds put them down 19-18. With Mandizabal serving, Bucknell missed the setup and it was 20-18 with the ace for her. A time out followed, but when play resume Snyder delivered a kill smashing a shot from the left to the defense’s right. Mandizabal picked up another ace to make it 22-18, and another point followed. A third ace came Mandizabal’s way when the defense tried a dig and it flew way out of bounds. Olmstead than smashed a spike to the defense’s deep left corner to win the set and match 25-18.
The relatively calm Day One was in the books, but each team would have two games to play the following day in relative short order.
What this report does not encompass much of is the defensive efforts by so many players as well as the assists that may line up the kills. This is due to the fast pace of the action where it is often hard to write down all that is occurring, with so many points happening so quickly, it can be difficult just to get the points themselves, but it is important to stress that the attacks come following defensive plays and assists which are sometimes spectacular in nature and always critical, and they are set by the other members of the teams as well as the offensive attackers.