By David F. Pendrys
NEW HAVEN, CT – The Southern Connecticut Owls volleyball team snagged an important NE10 win Saturday afternoon on Senior Day. SCSU dispatched the Franklin Pierce University Ravens in three sets on the way to the victory. SCSU hit for .257 compared to FPU’s cumulative .000 hit percentage which does partly explain the sweep.
Gabriela Vazquez led Southern with 15 Kills as she hit for .419 on the day. Leanna Jadus contributed 12 Kills, and Alyssa Gage had 8. Senior Jourdan Hodge had 5, and fellow Senior Alexandria Jurgens put up 3, and classmate Nicole Hauser had 1. Jurgens also had 24 Assists, and her Senior compatriot Alexandra Nimz had 16. Hauser and Jennifer Dawson each had service Aces.
Gage and Jurgens contributed two shared Blocks. Jadus and Hodge each had 1 shared Block. Defensively, the Libero, Anna Venard had 14, Vazquez had 11, Jadus had 10 and others were spread throughout the team.
Danielle Varricchio had 7 Kills to lead FPU, Ofeira Petaia had 6, Brittney Carias had 4 and a few others were spread throughout the team. Hannah Runge had 13 Assists as the primary setter for the offense. Hannah St. Jean, Runge, and Jocelyn Moody had 1 service Ace each. St. Jean had 2 solo Blocks, and Runge had 1. Petai had 14 Digs, Moody had 11, and Carias had 9.
SCSU got out to an 8-4 advantage in set 1, though FPU pursued and it was soon 9-8 SCSU. An Owls time out helped somewhat and they kept a small lead until Jadus stuck twice, and Vazquez one of her many Kills. Dawson’s Ace then made the lead 18-12. the team’s traded points, but that was to Southern’s benefit. By the time Vazquez unleashed another strike it was 24-18 and a FPU attack error settled the set 25-18. Southern hit for .226 in the opening frame, and FPU only .064.
Southern pulled out to a 7-2 lead in set 2, only to have FPU cut it to 7-5. But Southern didn’t have much trouble after that as Jadus had two straight kills, three more SCSU points followed for a 12-5 lead. The Ravens were not able to keep pace as players like Hodge and Jadus continued to score, and some miscues didn’t help either. At the 20-10 mark, FPU managed two more points, but Vazquez ended their run with a Kill the defense couldn’t even dig. The teams traded errors, but then Hodge and Jadus shared a Block for a 23-13 lead. Abigail Garnhart tapped it to a gap in front of the Southern line, and two more FPU points followed. But they surrendered their initiative serving into the net, and Hodge took care of the 25th point with a blast. SCSU hit for .312 and FPU only .107.
Set 3 started with a 6-1 SCSU lead unsurprisingly but FPU closed to 10-8. A time out by Coach Barbaro helped Southern as Vazquez crushed an opposing overpass back at them and after the team’s traded tallies, Gage struck, then Hauser had an Ace, and three more SCSU points followed by Gage again unleashed a Kill that popped off a defender to the floor. With the score 18-9 SCSU did conceded 3 points, but Vazquez stopped that run and the team’s traded more points before Jurgens and Gage shared a Block to make it 23-13. FPU delayed the end with 3 quick points including from a Varricchio Kill, and a St. Jean Ace. Jadus would be responsible for the final two points with two straight Kills. SCSU hit for .250, but FPU hit for -.222 in a rough set for them.
SCSU now 20-8, and 7-5 in conference has one more week of competition to vie for placement in the NE 10 Tournament. FPU drops to 7-16, and 4-7 in conference.
SCSU’s Senior Class spoke about the game, season, and their careers afterward.