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CCSU Blue Devil Invitational Day 2 in detail. Part 1.

by David F. P. [Modest 2008 CCSU Volleyball Image Gallery]
NEW BRITAIN, CT- The tournament began again at 10AM the next morning with Bucknell taking on Iona.Iona was looking to remain undefeated, and Bucknell was seeking their first win.


Bucknell vs. Iona

Set 1 went back and forth until both teams were at 4-4, but Iona, as they had done the day before, set off on a run following BU hitting the ball into the net to make it 4-5.Two BU errors, a Rachelle Wilson and Kendall Paulus combined on a block, and Genett scored an Ace to put the team up 4-8.Kendall Paulus tapped the ball into the middle gap of the Bucknell defense, and Wilson smashed a kill in to make it 4-10. Bucknell broke the run when Kaitlin Segal sent a spike off the opposition and out of bounds. This was followed by Allison Gittings serving a ball over which the D knocked out of bounds for the Ace.Two shots into the net gave the points right back and it was 6-12 Iona.

The Gaels knocked a ball out of bounds and into the net to drop their lead to 8-12, but Kendall Paulus came up with a big spike and Wilson’s attack flew in for another pointThe Bison picked up a point, but gave up a pair including a Sarah Wiener kill which flew off BU and into the out of bounds area.The Bison benefited from a two hit error from Iona, but Wiener smashed another one in to extend the lead to 10-18.

Bucknell closed to within five thanks to two Iona errors, and a Segal spike, but Colleen Genett and Rachel Whitten ended the run with a block and Genett spiked the team to a 13-20 lead.When Bucknell knocked it into the Antenna, Iona was within 4 of the win, anda BU time out was called.Play resumed, with Iona hitting into the net, but Segal and Whitten blocked the Gaels to 22 points.Segal followed this with a service ace, but IC was momentarily halted when they dug a return out of bounds, and Bucknell’s Allison Gittingsaced a serve in to make it 16-23.Wilson’s tap in brought Iona one point away, and Bucknell’s spike out of bounds put the Gaels over the top in seat 1, 16-25.

When Set 2 began, Iona wasted no time pulling out into a big lead.Thanks to three straight Bucknell whacks into the net or out of bounds, Iona was up 0-3, and Wilson added to the lead with a kill.Bucknell spiked an attack into the net again, though an Iona miscue stopped the streak at 5 momentarily as the Gaels picked up another two points for 1-7 lead. Lindsay Smith scored Bucknell’s second point with a spike kill, and a misstep from IC lead to it being 3-7, but Genett responded for Iona with a big spike leaving the score at 3-8.

Iona’s lead would rise to 5-13 thanks to some Bucknell errors, a Paulus Kill, a block from Genett and Whitten, and an Ace from Genett as well when she froze the defense.Following a time out, Bucknell picked up another point to cut the lead to 7, and Kyleigh McAhren served a ball which Iona couldn’t get back over the net for an Ace.With help from a Heidi Kamp/Allison Gittings block and a Lindsay Smith attack among Iona errors, the Bison would get the score to 12-15, but would then give up an error and fall prey to a Sarah Wiener kill to bring the score back to 12-17.Amidst this there was some sort of rotation or service error which erased a point. It was somewhat messy.In the process BU had gained a few points as had Iona.At the 15-20 mark, Paulus smashed an attack to the gap, and then Whitney Wright picked up a service ace for IC.The Gaels were within 3 of the win, but Bucknell responded with a run of their own led by Segal’s spike which bounced off a defender’s dig attempt.Iona was unable to get a ball over in three hits on the following exchange, and Kamp had two scores in a row to bring the score to 19-22.An Iona misstep lead the score to be 20-22, leading to a time out by the Gaels.

Play resumed and Segal blasted a spike off the defense’s fingers and out of bounds to make it 21-22. Iona didn’t panic and following a Bucknell kill, Wilson and Paulus combined on a block.With the score 21-24 and the game on the line, Bucknell spiked an attack out of bounds and Iona won their 5th straight set of the tournament.

In a mere 3 minutes Set 3 was underway. The two teams traded points including a pair of kills from each team’s number 11, Segal and Genett.Whitten sent a ball off the D to give Iona the lead, and Alyssa Morales aced a serve when the ball hit the net slowed, and caught the defense unable to get to it putting Iona up 2-4.A hit into the net made it 3-4, but Iona started building a lead following Genett’s whack to a middle gap, a pair of Bucknell errors extended the lead to 3-7.Bucknell would pick up a pair of points but in same time period Iona picked up 5 more off a Paulus kill, a Laura Fojanesi Ace, and two Wilson blocks (one shared with Morales.). Iona would continue to build getting to 11-18 thanks in part to Paulus with a gap shot and Wilson tapping an attack in. Bucknell’s offense included Pitsch and Baumgarten picking up kills. Bucknell’s Rachel Rodriguez picked up two straight Ace’s to pull BU back to within 5, but Wilson’s big spike followed by a Bucknell spike into the net made it 13-20.An Ace by Fofjanesi lead to a 13-21 lead, but Segal smashed a shot off the blockers and out of bounds to get BU another point. Unfortunately for them it was their last.An attack error followed, then IC’s Angie Mifsud aced a serve in, and Wiener closed it out with a spike to bring Iona a 14-25 victory.

Iona’s next opponent had spent much of the earlier game watching them play, and the home team Central took the court ready to face off in a battle of tournament unbeatens.Both teams had to go through the other if they wanted a shot at 3-0.


Iona vs. Central Connecticut.

This was hands down the match of the day as Iona and Central Connecticut would take each other to the limit literally and proverbially.

Iona pulled out to a 1-4 lead including a Sarah Wiener spike kill and a Colleen Genett tap in. Lauren Snyder put Central on the board with a big spike as well and Jamie Baumert halved the Iona lead to make it 2-4.With the score 5-6, there was a long rally battle ending with CCSU spiking a ball out of bounds, but another rally ensued at the next point including a ton of blocks before Iona spiked a shot out as well and it was 6-7. Iona then picked up a handful of points off Central errors, and a Wiener spike.Kendall Paulus capped off the run with an Ace when her serve flew off the defense and sailed out of bounds.Amanda Olmstead spiked a shot off the Gaels to the floor to put Central back within 4, and IC hit a shot into the net on the next exchange. On the ensuring point, Kaitlin Petrella, Central’s Libero had a pair of great saves, but Iona ended up with the point anyway. Lauren Snyder came up with a big spike just in bounds to pull the Blue Devils within 3, though Iona would win a battle at the net to get their 13th point, and Alyssa Erickson added an ace to continue the advantage for the visitors.

Central’s 10th point came on a serve out of bounds, but Iona built a larger lead when Genett and Wiener blocked an attack, CCSU committed a lift, and Paulus and Genett tapped a ball at the net down to the floor to make it 10-17. IC spiked an attack out of bounds to give the Blue Devils a point, but picked up 3 more in quick fashion including off a Paulus and Rachelle Wilson block. Genett then picked up an ace on her serve to extend the lead to ten 11-21. Central’s Maite Mendizabal shot a ball over and the IC dig failed and it was 12-21, but Iona’s Molly O’Shea scored when her spike hit the D and shot out of bounds.The Gaels gave up a point when their ball hit the antenna, but Wilson hit a ball off the D to put the score at 13-23. Amanda Bayer came up with an interesting light tap to the middle gap to get to 14-23 for Central, but Wiener unleashed two straight kills for the 24th and winning 25th point.

When Set 2 began, Central roared out of the gate with a vengeance picking up 4 straight points to get to a 4-0 lead. Iona picked up a point, but Snyder spiked a shot in for a 5-1 lead, and after an IC error it was 6-1 Central.A trio of shots out of bounds and into the net put the score at 6-4, and Iona began their come back, though they served into the net first, but Wiener, then Paulus, came up with kills, and O’Shea and Genett teamed up for a block. It was now 7-7, and Iona kept going picking up two more points before a time out.After a fairly even exchange of points it was 9-12, but Iona kept the pressure on with a Paulus spike. CCSU’s Mendizabal tapped a shot in over the defense and it was 10-13. a variety of errors and shots out of bounds on both sides brought it to 12-15. Genett hit a block off the D to the floor, but Tori Vaughan responded for the Blue Devils.Baumert’s block put them within 2, though Wiener’s spike extended the lead again.Snyder tapped an attack over and it was 15-17. Iona dropped in a shot to make it 15-18, but Baumert dropped an attack in as well and it was 16-18. O’Shea sent a spike over just in bound to give IC a 3 point lead again, but Baumert spiked a shot off the defending blockers and the lead was closed again. Central’s Danielle Gasser found a gap in the Iona defense and whapped the ball into it to put her team within one and Mendizabal tied things up at 19.Rachelle Wilson didn’t want that to last and hit a spike over and off the Blue Devil D, but Mendizabal tied the game right back up and it was 20-20.

Iona picked up two more points when Central sent two attacks out of bounds, but a time out stopped the run and IC served into the net on the next point.The Gaels attempted to dig a ball next play and sent it far over the net and out of bounds. With the score tied 22-22, Central then hit out of bounds and Iona had the advantage again, but only momentarily as Amanda Olmstead shot a spike down in for a 23 tie, and followed it up with a service ace to give Central their first lead in a while. A four hit error on the next rally would even things again. Iona picked up a point next, but Central’s coaching staff bolted from their seats claiming four hits which was later backed up by the referees.It was now 25-24 Blue Devils, but Wiener tapped a ball into the gap and it was 25-25.A spike out of bounds gave Central the lead again 26-25, but CCSU hit the net and it was 26-26.The battle rolled on with a big rally on the next point, though CCSU won it with a tap over the net.But a serve just out of bounds put Iona back even.Mendizabal whapped a huge shot off the defense and out of bounds, and then aced a serve to win the set for Central. The match was now tied 1-1 and it was the first match of the tourney where both teams won at least one set so far.

Set 3 opened with a back and forth involving the usual suspects for both teams, including an ace for Olmstead and two spike kills for Genett. With the score 4-4, Iona started to build a lead off of O’Shea’s block tap, an ace from Erickson, and a Wiener kill.Snyder kept Central within 2 with a kill of her own off the blockers to the floor and it was 5-7 followed by an Iona missed set and it was 6-7, but 3 missteps for CCSU put Iona up 6-10.The lead continued to grow as Genett had a kill, and Paulus twice landed spikes, leading to a time out for Central Connecticut.When play resumed Gasser had a great defensive save for the Blue Devils, but Wilson came up with a massive spike for Iona to win the point. Mandizabal tapped a point over to put the score at 8-14, but two spikes out of bounds by the blue and white gave Iona an 8 point lead.Central didn’t stop though and following an IC serve into the net, Olmstead came through with a block, followed by a smash off the defense out of bounds and CCSU was within 5.Wilson tapped an attack in, but an Iona serve into the net diminished that gain and Amanda Bayer served an ace up when her opponent’s dive dig failed. Wiener stepped up and hit a spike to keep the lead at 5, but an IC error in the battle of the next rally made it 14-18.Genett hit a smack into the middle gap, but Vaughan returned the favor hitting a shot from her right to the right back corner of the Gaels. Snyder aced a serve and it was 16-19. Wiener came up with a huge kill to put Iona within 5 of victory, and the two sides traded spikes out of bounds, but Mendizabal came up with another kill to make it 18-21, before a serve into the net put Iona within 3 of the win.Paulus added to that with a spike and it was now 18-23. Time out CCSU.

The Blue Devils were close to a loss, but Olmstead went on the attack yet again with a huge spike, which the defender’s dig attempt couldn’t handle, and Snyder followed up a battle in the next rally with a tap in to make it 20-23. Olmstead again struck to make it 21-23, but CCSU served out of bounds next giving Iona their 24th point. All the Gaels needed to do was win one point in the next 3 rallies and they would have the set, but the home team didn’t let that happen, instead picking up their 22nd point, and then Vaughan hit into a gap to make it 23-24.Iona called a time out.

On the next play Vaughan had a block tying the score up forcing the teams to make it to 26 to win.Iona then blocked the ball out of bounds and Central had the 25-24 lead.The Gaels weren’t done and they tapped a shot over to tie it back up. Snyder had a tap of her own to a gap behind the IC front line.It was 26-25, when Baumert came up with a block during a rally to send the ball to the floor and propel the team to victory 27-25.

Central 2, Iona 1.

Set 4 began soon afterward and perhaps it was due to the bitter loss of the set before, but Iona pounced, winning 6 straight points off of a Paulus ace which froze the D as well as several CCSU misplays a Wilson Block and a Wiener spike completed the scoring run, as a miscue put Central on the board 1-6. Iona continued to work with their advantage, and the score was soon 4-10 following a handful of Wiener kills and some central miscues.Olmstead had picked up CCSU’s 2nd point along the way and a missed serve gave them a third.Vaughan touched off a mini Central run with a spike followed by Hansen tapping over an attack and Mendizabal finding a gap to smack the ball into.With it now 6-10 Central served out of bounds and spiked out of bounds which had Iona doubling them up. Mendizabal and Olmstead picked up kills to bring them back within 4, but Paulus and Wilson regained the six point lead with their attacks. The run kept going with a central miscue, a serve just in bounds by Laura Fojanesi, and a pair of big spikes from Wilson.

At 8-18 things were looking bleak for the home team.But Mendizabal scored again whapping a shot off the defense and out of the court, but Wilson came right back to make it 9-19.A long rally was ended when Snyder tapped a shot in, but Wiener threaded the needle and put a spike just in bounds. Snyder’s response was a big spike of her own, but a missed set put the score at 11-21.A block out of bounds by Iona put the lead down to 9, but Wiener shot it back up to ten with her whack off the Central blockers. Vaughan’s spike flew over and IC’s dig failed for a 13-22 score, but a two hit error later on the part of the Blue Devils had Iona within 2 points of winning with a 10 point lead. Baumert let one fly for a point but Rachel Whitten came right back to even it out and it was 14-24. Mendizabal’s spike on the following rally was hard and the D could only get a hand on it.It would be followed by an Iona block out of bounds. With the score 16-24 Central would lose on a serve into the net to end their comeback.It was now even 2-2 for the match.

The two teams in the hard fought matchup would now face a game decided by a shorter set 5.The score would be to 15, and the sides would change halfway through the set.

Amanda Bayer stepped in to serve and it flew over the net and dropped in front of a diving defender for the ace and a 1-0 CCSU lead.The next serve flew into the net and it was 1-1.Genett attacked and her spike put the score at 1-2 Iona, but Vaughan’s big time spike evened things up.Central took off following an Iona misstep with two more pints on a Snyder tap over and an Olmstead Ace. Following an Iona time out, Wiener put an end to the run with a spike through the blockers and CCSU hit the antenna on a return to make it 5-4.Snyder extended the lead with a tap that the defense couldn’t return and a two hit error put the score at 7-4.A big rally ensued but Central’s Baumert spiked it in for an 8-4 lead.The two teams switched sides of the court and play continued.

Central served out of bounds, but Iona served into the net to put the score at 9-5.A CCSU serve outside the lines, and an Iona attack error once again traded points, but Iona picked up the next score on Blue Devil misstep.Wilson kept the scoring coming with her spike, but Olmstead shot an attack through the blockers to make it 11-8. Following a service violation it was 11-9 and then 11-10 when Paulus picked up an ace.A time out was called by CCSU who was trying to hold on.

Snyder won the next point when she taped the ball over, but Wiener had a spike in response.The score was then tied on another Iona point. Snyder then earned the lead again for CCSU when she spiked off the D, and Baumert followed it up with a block.Iona called a time out with the set and match on the brink.Wiener lead the charge back for the Gaels and her spike put them within one.But on the following play, Snyder tapped the ball over and it was 15-13 CCSU.Central won the match 3 sets to 2.

Iona was now done with a 2-1 record which nearly became a 3-0 one but for a fierce Central team.Bucknell and Stony Brook had had to wait an long time to get to their game, and had sat in the crowd for most of the pervious match, but now each had something at stake. For Bucknell it was their last chance for a win, and for Stony Brook they needed a win to potentially get two wins in the tourney.

What this report does not encompass much of is the defensive efforts by so many players as well as the assists that may line up the kills. This is due to the fast pace of the action where it is often hard to write down all that is occurring, with so many points happening so quickly, it can be difficult just to get the points themselves, but it is important to stress that the attacks come following defensive plays and assists which are sometimes spectacular in nature and always critical, and they are set by the other members of the teams as well as the offensive attackers.

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