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Owls Defeat Knights in Climactic Encounter

By David F. Pendrys [Official Box Score from SCSU Athletics]

NEW HAVEN, CT – The SCSU Owls Women’s Volleyball squad held off an impassioned comeback try by the Saint Rose Golden Knights to take a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at Pelz Gym.

Leanna Jadus led Southern with 16 Kills and posted a double-double by also managing 14 Digs. Gabriela Vazquez a Service Ace, and had 13 Kills and 14 Digs for a double-double as well. Alyssa Gage also had 13 Kills.

The Owls also found offense from Kirstin Colwell’s 6 Kills, four from Jillian Chambers, and three from Alexandria Jurgens. Jurgens also launched over 2 Service Aces and had 28 Assists to set up the offense. Alexandra Nimz had 22 Assists as well. Libero Anna Venard had 26 Digs and a Service Ace.

Gage had two solo Blocks and shared two others, Colwell shared three Blocks, Jadus and Chambers each shared two, and Nicole Hauser had a shared Block as well.

Saint Rose was led by Shayna Webber’s 13 Kills, as well as seven from Grace Campbell, six from Stevie Schweitzer and five from Victoria Fogg. Sam Kubik had 32 Assists for her squad, and Tina Ceriello, the Libero, had 29 Digs. Kubik and Maddy Halverson both had 2 Service Aces a piece, and Schweitzer sent over one.

Shayna Webber had 2 solo Blocks and three shared ones for Saint Rose, and 7 other players had one shared Block a piece.

The first set was largely under Southern’s control though Saint Rose climbed back in towards the end, only to have Southern shut the door. Jadus and Colwell had a Kill apiece in the final few points and STR committed several errors. The Golden Knights posted a .0 Hit percentage for the set which is not ideal. Southern on the other hand had a .278.

After Southern’s success in Set 1, Saint Rose responded in Set 2. The teams traded points to 6-6 before Fogg hit the ball to the back gap and Graciela Cruz tapped an attack over the SCSU blocking line for a two point St. Rose lead. After Fogg blocked a SCSU attack, an Owls timeout followed, but it would be no avail as the Golden Knights built the lead to 17-10 off kills from Campbell, Fogg, and Schweitzer, as well as a block from Webber. Southern was scoring points including a big block from Gage she immediately followed with a rocket into the St. Rose zone for a point, but some errors didn’t help the cause. The teams essentially traded points after that, but with Saint Rose’s large lead meant it was all they needed. Schweitzer landed a Kill just in bounds for a 24th point, and after Gage smashed the ball into the visitor’s zone, Webber ended the set with a spike off a defender and out of play. This time Saint Rose had the 25-17 win. The Golden Knights posted a .226 Hit percentage to Southern’s .048.

Set 3 was a different story as the Owls had their most dominant set of the match. After each team volleyed to a 6-6 score, Southern started to roll. Jadus started it off with a cross court Kill. The Golden Knights committed an error, and then Jurgens set the ball to Colwell who unleashed a hard spike from the net for a three point lead. A time out by Saint Rose failed to blunt the momentum as Jurgens sent two straight Aces off failed visitor Dig attempts. The run was momentarily interrupted by each team committing two errors a piece, but Vazquez smacked the ball off the blocking line to take a 14-8 lead. Jadus had a key defensive save on the next point, and eventually Saint Rose hit the ball out of play for a 15-8 Owls lead, which only was extended by a Kill from Gage and a block from her and Chambers. A few stray visitor points were negated by a wallop from Gage and an absolute blast from Vazquez. At the 21-12 mark, SCSU did commit three straight errors, but a time out regained their composure. Vazquez had three straight Kills including a massive one to put her team within one of the set win. After a fierce volley back and forth prolonged by an important save from Jadus, Chambers ended the set with a Kill for the 25-15 win. The Golden Knights hit a rough .048 and Southern had a .286 percentage.

The decisive set 4 was a climactic one as the teams went back and forth to a 17-17 tie. A Southern error gave Saint Rose the lead, and SCSU called a quick time out. Vazquez came out of the stoppage slamming the ball down on her opponents to tie the game back up. Halverson and Webber blocked a SCSU attack on the next point to regain the lead, but a long volley was ended with a Saint Rose error to tie the set back up. The two teams traded points before Jadus sent a titanic spike in on the defense. And then landed a strike just in bounds. Saint Rose called a time out but Jadus rewarded them with a light tip off a defender out of play.

Saint Rose got back into it after SCSU served out of bounds, and Halverson in turn served up an Ace. A Southern time out however, stopped that run, but only momentarily. The two teams traded points to a 24-23 SCSU lead, but Jadus ended the set and match crushing her attack in. SCSU hit .122 in the final set, and Saint Rose managed another .000 hit percentage.

Southern rises to 14-5, and 4-3 in the Northeast 10. Saint Rose drops to 8-12 and a winless 0-5 in the conference.

Jadus, Venard, and Vazquez spoke about how the match went afterward.

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