By David F.P.
NEW BRITAIN, CT- The Long Island University Blackbirds, always a dangerous team in the NEC conference, came up to Detrick Gymnasium to take on the Central Connecticut Blue Devils. It would be exciting, the crowd would get into it and the match would go five sets, and in the end CCSU edged LIU 3 to 2 for the win.
Before the match, seniors Amanda Bayer, Maite Mendizabal, Kaitlin Petrella, and Tori Vaughan were all honored for their last home match of their careers.
Set 1 went to Long Island as they picked up a 25 to 20 win.
Highlights for the visitors included Breanna Cullity’s tap over that was not returned, Jessica Rice’s block, Hanna Gibeau’s hack into the defensive zone, Rice and Theresa Gorella’s tandem block, Gorella’s huge smash through the blockers, a service ace from Gorella, a smash from Zuzana Buchlova, Cullity’s punched ball through, Vanessa Gemignani’s tip, following a good defensive save from Artisha Jackson Gibeau and Rice had a pair of blocks, Rice had a tip in, later she had another blast, Gorella took a kill, Buchlova launched a rocket, Cullity added a kill,later Gibeau struck again, and Rice had a blast, and Rice’s block ended the set.
For the home team, highlights included Tori Vaughan had a block, later she added a whap off the defender’s hands, later Danielle Gasser’s serve was not returned, a few opponent’s errors followed, Sara DeLacey and Vaughan shared a block, DeLacey had a kill from the net, Jamie Rademacher added a spike off an LIU player’s hands on the way out of bounds, Amanda Bayer had a tip over at the net, Blaike King hammered it in, DeLacey had a whap from the net as well.
Set 2 went Central’s way 25 to 20.
For CCSU the highlights included DeLacey’s blast early on, Emily Cochran’s kill off the block, she struck again later, DeLacey had a block, Cochran added another kill, Rademacher added a spike, Cochran then served up a pair of aces, later King had a kill and Kaitlin Petrella added an ace, later Bayer won a joust at the net, Vaughan smacked the ball down and in, and Cochran yet again added a point, DeLacey and Vaughan shared a block, Maite Mendizabal had an ace, Bayer had a key defensive save leading to a Central point, again came a Cochran spike, Bayer picked up another point, then a pair of kills ended the set.
And for LIU highlights were Cullity unleashed a hurricane attack, Rice nailed an errant CCSU set, then came Gibeau’s missile, a cross court spike from Buchlova wasn’t long to follow, Cullity slammed a ball down, Gibeau had a big kill as well later on.
Set 3 went back to Long Island 25 to 21.
Highlights for LIU were varied and included Rice and Gemignani’s block, Gibeau had a tap into the zone, Rice came up with a hack attack, Gibeau had another kill, then came Buchlova’s big spike, and another soon after, then came Gibeau and Cullity’s kill, after a time Gibeau had 3 more spike kills, then Gorella’s massive kill hit a Blue Devil and flew far away into the seats, she added a blast immediately after that, later Cullity’s kill hit the block and and bounced in, Gibeau and Rice shared a block, and another point followed for the set.
For the Blue Devils Cochran had a missile launched in, then came a King tap over, and a light touch in from Cochran, Cochran and CC18 shared a block, Cochran added a cross court kill, Rademacher’s spike in came midway through the set, King kabonked the ball off the blockers at the net, DeLacey added a kill, and Cochran struck yet again, Vaughan whapped the ball off the defenders, then King added a kill of her own, Vaughan and DeLacey shared a block for Central’s last point.
Set 4 went Central’s way to tie the game up with a 25-23 set win.
For the Blue Devils DeLacey had a smash, Cochran had a kill, then came Rademacher’s hack attack, Cochran added another of her many kills, then King launched a rocket, and another kill afterward, Cochran added an attack, she used a light touch again, then a smash, King had a kill off the defenders, and DeLacey added a kill too, then came points from Mendizabal and DeLacey, later on Cochran had three successive Central kills, Bayer’s tip took the set as well.
For LIU Cullity opened the team’s scoring, later she added a kill through the block, a kill came from Buchlova, Gibeau’s smash through the block, Rice had two attacks off the block attempt, then Gorella tipped the ball over the blockers, a kill from Rice and a light tap from Buchlova came midway through, Cullity’s tap at the net, and three kills from Gibeau followed, she added another kill very late in the set as well.
So everything turned to set 5, It was close, but Central held off LIU 15-13.
For the victorious Blue Devils Bayer opened the set with a service ace, King added a smash, Cochran had a tap in, Rademacher had a kill, King added another kill way out of bounds, Mendizabal and CC6 shared a block, later DeLacey picked up a kill at the net, DeLacey and Mendizabal had a block, Mendizabal picked up a service ace, and Cochran whipped a kill in, before one more CCSU point took the set.
For LIU, Rice had an early kill, Gibeau picked up another, then Rice struck again, Buchlova and Cullity also had kills before Buchlova picked up another, LI13 picked up a later kill, Rice had a block, Gibeau added a kill late as well.