By David F.P. [CCSU 2009 Volleyball Modest Image Gallery]
NEW BRITAIN, CT- There are two division 1 schools with volleyball programs on either border of West Hartford, and the Holy Cross Crusaders have taken on both of them in the past two weeks. This time, the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils of New Britain played host to HC. The Blue Devils would pick up the victory 3 sets to 1, but Holy Cross made it a very difficult ride for Central.
As always with recaps I tend to focus on the offensive, as it it hard enough to follow the fast paced action, but this is not to in any way downgrade the importance of key sets and key defensive plays. I do note defensive saves whenever I have time to right them down.
Set 1 opened with a fairly even exchange all the way to the 13-13 mark. Central’s points came form Maite Mendizabal’s kill through the block, a Holy Cross attack out of bounds, a Crusader serve into the net, Sara DeLacey whapping a kill over the net off a set, Danielle Gasser’s service ace just in bounds, another HC attack out of bounds, another Gasser service ace which bounced off the defense and out of bounds, a Jamie Baumert spike, another point follow, Mendizabal picked up a kill, and close after a kill through the block, another Crusader spike out of bounds, and DeLacey’s kill was the 13th point. Holy Cross scored off a tap over attack, (following a great defensive save by Angela Chisholm), another point followed, then came an Kathleen Colpoys service ace, Megan Lynch came up with a kill, and then another spike by her bounced off the d and out, later a CCSU serve outside the lines, and a spike out of bounds resulted in more points, as did another error soon afterward, then came the Crusaders winning a battle rally, and Chelsey O’Donnell tapped over for another point, Colpoys picked up another point, O’Donnell launched a service ace flying off the devils and out of bounds.
Holy Cross pulled out two points ahead, but DeLacey responded to cut the lead to one, Rebecca DeSanti put down a ball during a joust at the net to extend the lead again, but Baumert tipped an attack off the defender to cut the lead again. A Central serve sailed out, but Mendizabal picked up a point launching a blast into the defense’s corner, and two more Holy Cross attack errors followed to give CCSU a 18-17 lead. The Crusaders called a time out, but when place resumed three attack errors and a Blaike King whack off the defense sandwiched between them to put the Blue Devils up 22-17.
Play resumed again and Baumert picked up a service ace, a serve into the net would follow, but Mendizabal’s tip off two defender’s dig out of bounds, and Amanda Bayer’s service ace to the Holy Cross corner put the score at 25-18 to win the set, Central 1, Holy Cross 0
Set 2 opened in somewhat similar fashion with the Devils and Crusaders volleying to a 12-12 tie score initially. CCSU scoring came mainly from a Holy Cross serve out of bounds, a blast from Baumert, a Crusader attack out of bounds, another smash from Baumert, a good dig by King served as a prelude to an HC spike into the net, another HC error soon followed, King later crushed an attack, a purple and black attack was tipped out of bounds (despite a good dig from O’Donnell), and later still Baumert picked up another kill followed by a Holy Cross lift error and a spike into the net.
For the Crusaders the points came largely of a Blue Devil spike out of play, a kill soon afterward, one of HC’s many smashes, a block from Callie Black, a kill from Lynch, a CCSU attack error, another point after that, a Samantha Surface slashing the ball through the blockers, DeSanti later knocking one through the defense, Surface whamming a spike off a dig attempt by a home team member, a four hit penalty on CCSU, and an attack out of bounds.
Central managed to send two more attacks sailing out of bounds and that lead to a time out with the score 12-14 in favor of holy Cross. Play restarted and Colpoys sent a serve in for an ace. Mendizabal got the Blue Devils scoring again with a kill, and an HC double contact error got the score to 14-15. Black responded sending a spike around the block to a corner and another visitor point followed. DeLacey came up a blast to stop the scoring run, and Baumert absolutely stuffed a Holy Cross attack with her block. A Holy Cross attack went into the CCSU zone, and the resulting dig flew back over the net wildly and a Crusader hammered it in to put the score at 16-18, though Baumert received a set and whacked in a point to cut the lead to one. The following play a seemingly lost ball was saved from a dive by Gasser, the ball was then knocked upwards by her teammate Bayer and the eventual result was a Central point and an 18-18 tie. Holy Cross sent an attack out of bounds but tied things back up with a spike. King broke the deadlock with a kill that popped off the block and in for a point. Holy Cross responded with a crushing attack. A two hit error followed, and an attack out of bounds put CCSU up by two. Mendizabal then blasted a kill off the blockers. The score was 23-20 and the visitors called a time out.
O’Donnell came out of the stoppage with a kill off the blockers, and the team came up with a block just in bounds, to cut the lead to 1. Mendizabal had a tap attack over and in, but Lynch had a tap of her own. Mendizabal responded again with a kill right through the blockers and the set ended 25-23 in a close on. Central 2, Holy Cross 0.
After a brief skirmish of tie scores to open up set 3, Holy Cross exploded to take a big lead. It was soon 5-9 in the visitors’ favor, leading to a Central time out, which only provided an interlude on the way to an 11-19 score.
The Crusaders initial scoring came from Colpoys’s tap over the net, a CCSU attack out of bounds, a Blue Devil spike out of bounds following a god defensive save by Surface, later Black came up with a kill, and Lynch had a kill ricocheting off defenders. A Central two hit error, Lynch service ace, Black and Surface tandem block, and an errant home team attack was the 9th point, later Lynch picked up another service ace when the ball hit the net and dropped in a center gap. After a brief Central scoring drive, a serve into the net gave Holy Cross another point, Colpoys spiked the ball to a defensive corner, Chisholm launched a service ace off a defender and outside the lines, Surface came up with another blast as well, DeSanti got in on the scoring with a kill flying off a dig attempt, an O’Donnell good defensive save preserved the volley which ended with a Central two hit error, she also used a fake set to set up a back handed which flew over the net for another point, Surface later absolutely demolished a spike, and a good defensive save by Chisholm (one of her many of the night) was part of a volley ended by a Central attack out of bounds.
The home team picked up their points off of a Mendizabal spike, a Bayer service ace, two Holy Cross spikes into the net, Tori Vaughan whapping the ball over the net, a smash delivered by DeLacey, another Gasser service ace, a King kill, and Baumert tapping a block to a tapped HC attack to end a very long rally back and forth. King also kablammed an attack, and Mendizabal’s put over hit a defender and flew out of bounds on the other side of the court.
All Holy Cross was needed was 6 more points, whereas Central needed 14, victory appeared within sight, but HC served out of bounds behind the back line and it was 12-19. Colpoys stopped the rally with a kill off a set from a teammate and the home team called their second time out. CCSU picked up a point when play resumed, but an errant attack created a 13-21 score. Black and Surface then had a block, though a second block attempt by the Crusaders on the next rally went out of bounds. The score was 14-22, and HC only need 3 points to win.
King unloaded a spike through the blockers, and DeLacey added a skill of her own. On the ensuing play King came up with a defensive save out of nowhere, which neither team saw coming, but Black was able to set up a spike anyway. The visitors served out of bounds to bring the score to 17-23 and an extremely long back and forth followed, ended with a Bayer hammer shot. Next came an HC spike into the net and the score was 19-23. The Crusaders called a time out.
Soon after Gasser came up with a good dig, and an HC attack error had the Blue Devils back within 3. A serve into the net by CCSU made things precarious, though a CCSU dig attempt on the next play landed in a gap to make the contest 21-24. DeSanti ended the suspense with a meteor. 21-25. Central 2, Holy Cross 1.
Now things were getting interesting in the hot confines of Kaiser Hall. Set 4 opened with Central racing out to a 6-2 lead off three HC attack errors, a Vaughan kill, a King hurricane shot, and a Baumert light kill. HC picked up points off an attack error, and a Lynch tap to a gap. CCSU managed to pull out to a 14-7 lead after that, but Holy Cross was disinterested in such a lopsided contest and fought the Blue Devils back to a 20-20 tie.
Central’s 7th to 20th point came from an HC error, Bayer using a fake set and then hitting the ball to a gap, another HC attack error after a very long back and forth between the teams, another pair of HC errors, a Mendizabal tap over the block to a gap, a spike into the net by the Crusaders, a Mendizabal whack attack, a Vaughan kill, and after a long HC run, a Emily Cochran attack which lead a defensive miscue, a later Crusader net violation, DeLacey’s latest kill, Baumert and King’s block, and a four hit error on the visitors.
Holy Cross’ 18 points to keep up included scoring off a CCSU serve into the net, Lynch’s service hitting the net and dropping in for a point, DeSanti’s spike bouncing off blocking hands, another Colpoys blast, a Blue devil attack out of bounds, Colpoys striking again, and Lynch following suit soon after, Black slipped the ball into the corner, and Lynch tapped in fro another point, Colpoys also served up an ace which the defense could not return, a Central attack out of bounds, an Black and O’Donnell tandem block, another Colpoys ace , yet another CCSU attack error, an Lynch smash, Black kill, CCSU attack error, and a Andrea Davis kill following a good dig by Chisholm, rounded things out.
An error of some sort put Central back in the lead 21-20 and the home crowd was growing restless for an end to the festivities. Holy Cross called a time out to plan the home stretch, but two straight Central points followed. HC responded with a kill and it was 23-21. A serve into the net by Holy Cross now had CCSU within 1 of the win, but Colpoys was there with a kill, and Davis followed her lead, 24-23 was the score. When the Crusaders picked up a block to tie things up another time out ensued as the fans reacted to the suspense. Mendizabal launched a spike to take the lead and Holy Cross spiked into the net following that to end it. 26-24. Central 3, Holy Cross 1.
Thus ended an exciting unpredictable contest between two of the regions teams.