By David F.P. 10-11-08 [Modest 2008 CCSU Volleyball Image Gallery]
NEW BRITAIN, CT-The Blackbirds from Long Island University trekked up to Central Connecticut to take on the Blue Devils in a hard fought match. It would be a battle between two NEC conference foes until the last point was scored.
Set 1 opened with the teams fighting to an 10-10 tie. CCSU scored off a Maite Mendizabal kill of the defense and out of bounds, a Lauren Snyder crosscourt smash, Jamie Baumert’s spike off the defense to the floor in front of them, Snyder’s Ace which hit the net and dropped in on the serve, an LIU error, Baumert enjoying a good set and hammering it home, Mendizabal whapping an attack off the defenders, Amanda Olmstead’s tap over the defense, and later a blast off the Blackbirds and out of bounds, as well as Snyder’s tap over the front line. LIU’s points included a Central serve into the net, a Central spike out of bounds, Quinn Williams’s crosscourt spike, three CCSU errors a Chelsey Stanton ace, a Blue Devil spike outside the lines, a serve out of bounds by Central, and Martina Racic unleashing a big smash.
Central pulled out t a lead off of Snyder’s huge spike, as well as Baumert whacking the ball off the Blackbird blockers following a good dig by Olmstead earlier in the rally. With the score 12-10, Kaitlin Petrella and Amanda Bayer both came up with good defensive plays before Baumert ended the rally with spike off LIU and out. Olmstead then served just in bounds for the ace, and despite a good dig by Libero Jasmine Perez, LIU spiked out of play. Long Island called a time out with the score now 15-10.
The visitors picked up 3 quick points including some Central attack errors but Baumert attacked again with success to keep her team up by 3. Williams found the Central’s right corner to slam the ball into, and Svetlana Simic crushed one as well. CCSU called a time out with the score 16-15, but the battle was on.
Baumert unleashed another big spike, but despite a good dig by CCSU on the next rally LIU scored a point, and another on a block to tie things up. It was Baumert succeeding on the attack to regain the lead, but Simic spiked off the Blue Devil blockers to tie it up. Bayer and Olmstead teamed up to stuff an attack but Simic unleashed a hard spike to end a long battle rally. The score was 19-19.
Long Island came up with two blocks during the next rally, but couldn’t finish it, and eventually they attacked out of bounds, but Williams spiked off the defenders to tie it back up. The advantage was lost when their serve went into the net, and CCSU kept going with two big blocks. Baumert was involved in both teaming up with Tori Vaughan then Snyder. Liu called a time out at the 23-20 mark. The home team gave up a point on a four hits error, and then attacked outside of play. It was 23-22, and a long long rally ensued including great saves by Baumert, Bayer, Perez, and Olmstead, before the Blue Devils attacked out of bounds. Central called a time out to regroup and it worked.
C13 crushed a rocket over into the LIU zone and then served up an Ace for the set victory. 25-23, LIU 0, Central Connecticut 0.
Scorewise Set 2 opened much like Set 1 with both teams battling to a 12-12 tie. Long Island scores included a Central error, a Williams cross court attack, an Stanton ace on a Central miscue, a kill just in bounds, another Williams spike, a CCSU attack out of bounds, a Ashley Rice smash, three Simic blasts, Agatha Baliddawa and Williams’s tandem spike. The Blue Devils scored off a Olmstead big time smash, a Snyder hammered shot, and later a whap off the blockers, Baumert spiked from the net, LIU hit into the net, Baumert and Vaughan combined on a block, Long Island served out of bounds, Bayer tipped the all over for a point, another kill followed, Long Island served out of play again, and committed a net violation. Bayer served up Ace when the ball rolled off the LIU dig attempt. Svetlana Simic played some good defense during the run and Mendizabal came up with a key save at one pint.
The Blue Devils bean t a run, with Olmstead blasting the ball off the touch of the visitors, and then serving up an ace when the ball hit the net and bounced off the defenders. A Long Island timeout and Baliddawa spike off a good set followed, but Baumert also received a good set and blasted the ball over for a kill. The Blackbirds hit the ball over the net while trying to set it up and it was Baumert who exploited the overpass with a whap in for another point. Simic did her best to save the next play after a teammate’s bad set but it was to no avail as an eventual error put another point in Central’s hands. Baumert and Vaughan stuff blocked an LIU attack and the score came to rest at 18-13.
Racic stopped the bleeding with a spike and then a tap over for two point. A long rally followed before Long Island sent a rocket flying through for a point. The score was 18-16 and the Blue Devils called a time out. LIU’s Ashley Rice and LIU8 came out of the play stoppage with a big block for another point, but Mendizabal crushed the ball of the Blackbirds to extend the lead to 2 again. Racic’s crushing attack followed, and her teammate Rice stuffed a home team attack to tie the score at 19. Baumert hammered a kill in, but Simic returned fire with a slam of her own off the blockers. A Blue Devil attack error put Long Island up one, but thanks to two good digs by Petrella on the next rally, Long Island eventually committed a net error and the score was tied again. Snyder unleashed a big time shot to the opponent’s right corner, but Simic came up with a huge kill as well. Snyder responded with a light hit off the defense and out, but Simic again blasted a spike off the defense to keep it tied. Despite a great save by Petrella, Central hit out of bounds to put LIU within 1. CCSU called a time out, but when the set restarted Baliddawa and Williams combined again on a block to end the set 23-25. Long Island 1, Central 1.
Set 3 opened with a 12-12 tie as well. A long rally ensued on the first point of the game, with Mendizabal and Bayer picking up great saves in succession and Perez having a good defensive play of her own, but Simic launched a rocket in for a point. On the next rally, Petrella had a good save as did Racic and Long Island eventually misset an overpass over to Central where once again Baumert made them pay for it. Williams came right back with a kill off the lockers. Central’s other 10 points came from a pair of LIU serves into the net, Mendizabal pouncing on an LIU overpass, Olmstead’s huge kill, a Long Island double contact error, Vaughan with a quick spike from the net, Olmstead’s serve bouncing off of several defenders and out, Baumert’s hard spike, and another kill soon after, as well as an LIU lift error. The Blackbirds got to 12 points off of a Blue Devils serve into the net, a CCSU attack error, Rice and Stanton’s combined block, Simic’s spike, another Simic crush, and another just into the defense’s left corner, and yet another just in bounds, as well as the ball falling in on the Central during a wild play, and Racic blasted an attack in as well.
The Blackbirds started to roll. Simic picked up another spike, Rice served up an Ace, Simic yet again crushed an attack through the blockers and the home team called a time out at the 12-15 mark. Rice’s serve hit the net and a defensive miscue gave her another Ace. Olmstead rarely lets deficits keep her from smashing a ball in and her attack bounced off the blockers ht one of the net supports and flew out of bounds. Central served into the net though and the lead remained 4 for LIU. Despite a great defensive save by Danielle Gasser on the next rally, Simic remained almost unstoppable with a crashing attack, followed by a Baliddawa and Williams tandem block again. Snyder responded when a ball came her way. She swung her right arm out, the back of her knuckles hit it and sent it flying cross court and in for the point. On the next rally following a good dig by Petrella, Snyder unloaded a mega spike, but LIU got their lead extended again with a Baliddawa tap over, and yet another Baliddawa and Williams combined block. The score was 15-21 and the Blue Devils called time again.
Olmstead came out of the gate with a big spike through the Long Island defense, and Baumert and Snyder came up with a block. LIU then spiked into the net and the Blue Devils were within 3, but CC8 launched a heater off the Blue and out of bounds, though Vaughan responded with a kill that flew off the defenders and into the seats. Despite a great save from Snyder on the next rally, Rice scored on a kill. The visitors served out of bounds to put the score at 20-23, but Central’s hopes were dashed when LIU’s two most dangerous attackers, struck, Racic hammered the ball in, and Simic ended the set with a titanic blast.
20-25, Long Island 2, Central 0.
Set 3 only got to a 6-6 tie before the runs started it. LIU scored off a Baliddawa kill, Simic not wasting any time with another blast, Baliddawa and Williams sharing a block again, Simic scoring from an unusual place, the serving line with an Ace which flew with her spike velocity through the defenders, Racic crushed an attack, then tapped over an attack. CCSU scored off a Baumert tip attack, a Long Island double contact error, a Olmstead spike which it the net, started spiraling and flew to the other side of the front line, a Long Island attack error, a Sara DeLacey and Vaughan block, and an LIU served into the net. Central pulled ahead off a Snyder smash, but LIU came back off a home team error, an Racic Ace, and yet another Simic huge spike. Snyder responded with a massive spike of her own which ricocheted off the Blackbirds and way out, but the Blue Devils served outside the lines and the score was 8-10. Despite a pair of great Petrella digs, CCSU succumbed to a miscue to put Long Island up by three. LIU served out, but Baliddawa put the ball over the keep the lead at 3, though following a great save by Racic they spiked out of bounds to let CCSU back within 2. The teams continued to trade points though with Williams’s big time spike, a Blackbird serve out of bounds, an LIU kill, and another Snyder kill, this time more massive than the last. The visitor’s pulled away though off Racic’s tap over the net, another LIU point off a disputed call about whether the ball landed in or out of bounds, and another L10 mega spike. Central called a time out now down 5, 12-17. Long Island served out, and C13’s spike hit net and rolled to a gap in the defense. Racic responded with another kill, but Snyder slammed the ball through the blockers to keep her team within 3. Williams returned fire with a spike, but Vaughan tapped an attack just in bounds. It was only a matter of time before Simic picked up another kill and she did, and followed it up with a crushed spike to make the score 16-21. CCSU called another time out. As she often did Olmstead came out of the time out with a point with a smash, but Baliddawa and Williams combined on a block yet again to keep the comeback from getting very far. Baumert tapped the ball over, and on the next rally Snyder unloaded her biggest smash of the afternoon, this one was colossal. Long Island called a time out at the 19-22 mark, but came out of the stoppage with a two hit error. Racic gave them breathing room with a spike, and Williams hit one of the block, before Simic ended it a kill. 21-25. Long Island 3, Central 1.
It was a big battle between two teams with a lot of weapons and a lot of defensive versatility. It was a good scoring day for Snyder, Olmstead, and Baumert for the home team, and Racic, Williams and Simic for the visitors. Though Simic had a monster of a day and Snyder was going to do damage to the court if she kept spiking like that. It was another case of the score not really reflecting just how hard fought a match it was.