By David F.P. [Modest Image Gallery]
NEW BRITAIN, CT- The Hartford Hawks and Central Connecticut State Blue Devils sit fairly close to each other separated only by a drive across a Hartford suburb creating a logical reason to face off often. On this evening Linda Sagnelli’s CCSU team would find Don Ferguson’s visiting squad taking them to five sets, after the Devils lead 2-0 to open things up. In the decisive fifth set Central would hold on to take the set and match in front of a pretty energetic crowd at Detrick Gym.
Set 1 pretty much went Central’s way as the Blue Devils pulled out to a 14-8 lead and kept Hartford at arm’s length throughout on the way to a 25-19 set victory. The set opened up with a block from Allyson Rene Porter and Jennifer Waddill for CCSU, not long to be followed by Sara DeLacey’s block as well. Several kills later it was 8-5 though Hartford’s Michelle Cordell had a service ace and a kill early on as well. The Hawks got as close as they would in the set after Jackie Tamburri faked setting up a set and knocked it over for a point. Emily Cochran’s kill for Central regained a 3 point lead, and despite a great defensive save by Hartford’s Sareeta Nethersole on an ensuing rally Waddill knocked it in to extend the lead. U of H’s Taylor McCreery responded with a kill off the blockers, but CCSU responded with three straight points thanks to a kill from Cochran, a team block from Waddill and DeLacey, and a service ace from Danielle Gasser. The lead was now quite large.
Offense for CCSU in the rest of the set included a kill from Cochran, a great defensive save by her kept the ball in play setting up another point, following that Gasser fed DeLacey who smashed the ball in, Blaike King had a whap for a point, and Jamie Rademacher got in on the scoring, with Waddill adding another kill then sharing another block with DeLacey. Cochran picked up the teams penultimate point with a kill through the blockers as well.
Hartford picked up points from Tamburri setting the ball to Cordell who dispatched it strongly, Kami Nethersole picked up a kill later, Sareeta Nethersole added a rocket, and both sisters added another kill not long after. McCreery launched a missile late in the set, and Cordell had a pair of kills in a row during an attempted comeback.
Set 2 would prove to be the craziest of the sets as Hartford pulled out to a 5-1 lead and kept going, though CCSU tied it up at 15-15 mid-set, Hartford regained the advantage and held it to a 21-19 lead, only to see Central tie it up at 22 and the two teams soon started battling for points back and forth needing that 2 point edge to win the set, Tamburri set the ball to Lindsay Anderson and she smashed it over the net, Cochran responded by spiking the ball into the back corner and the set remained tied. The Blue Devils sent the ball out of play on the next rally, but DeLacey found a gap to place the ball into the tie it back up. Sareeta Nethersole regained the lead, but King’s hammered shot tied it back up. Tamburri’s fake set attack worked again, but King’s spike off the blockers did as well. Rademacher came up with a big spike to take the lead for Central, but Kami Nethersole responded. Still, that would be the last Hartford point as CCSU picked up another and Cochran ended the set with the kill.
Earlier in the set Hartford’s’ offense had come in part from several kills and blocks from Cordell, a pair of kills from Kami Nethersole, one from Anderson, a missile from Sareeta Nethersole, another fake set success from Tamburri, a big time spike from Cordell, and another from Kami Nethersole.
Central’s scoring including Cochran opening the set with a light touch, a kill from King, a block from Waddill and DeLacey, a solo block from Waddill later as well, and she unleashed a spike soon after, Cochran struck again and Waddill paired with King on yet another block, Cochran then sent a service ace to tie the set briefly, DeLacey and Rademacher added a few more points before the closing fury of points too.
The dynamics of the game had shifted based on Central managing to edge Hartford in that set, instead of a 1-1 tie, CCSU now had the ability to win the match in the next set. Hartford however expressed their disagreement with this idea and won the set 25-15 by getting out to a big lead and holding it.
Offense for the Hawks included Cordell’s set opening kill, Anderson’s blast off the CCSU’s defenders, a kill from Kami Nethersole, and another soon afterward, another spike from Anderson, Cordell blasted a later kill, Sareeta Nethersole contributed to many a point in the middle of the set as she added a kill, and both Nethersole sisters shared a block to put the lead at 6, on the follwing play she and Tamburri had key defensive saves to keep the ball in play towards another point, and then teamed with Cordell on a block to put the lead at 8, only to add another huge spike. Kami Nethersole added several more, Anderson added another, and Sydney Scott and Anderson shared a block as well, Anderson later hammered the ball over, and finally to close out the set Cordell and Sareeta Nethersole came up with the tandem block.
For CCSU, points came from early Hartford miscues, a block from Rademacher, mid set Gasser hit the ball into a gap, Waddill had a kill as well and very late Cochran and Waddill added a few more.
Set 4 opened to a 12-12 tie, but Hartford fought for control and held a lead until a 25-19 set win to tie the match up.
The Hawks picked up points in part from Kami Nethersole continuing to do what she does, Scott added a kill early on during a run, Kami Nethersole kept going, and Sareeta Nethersole added to the totals, Tamburri picked up a block, Sareeta Nethersole struck again, and Kami Nethersole wound up, jumped and pounded the ball back down for another kill, Anderson picked up a pair of kills late, and Sareeta Nethersole picked up two kills surrounding one from Cordell and that was that for the set.
CCSU picked up their points from earlier kills from Waddill and King, a service ace from Cochran and more kills from DeLacey, Cochran, and Rademacher, who also added a service ace to the equation. Cochran tied the set up at 12 with a spike off the blockers, and Waddill tapped the ball over the front line to tie it up for the last time, she and Cochran shared a block later, as did DeLacey and Rademacher. Rademacher would also have the team’s last kill of the set.
In the 15 point set 5, the two teams went back and forth to a 7-7 tie. Hartford put up points from Anderson, and Sareeta Nethersole, while Central offense included Cochran, King, and Rademacher kills. Central took the lead on a Hartford error, Cochran then had a big kill and Gasser put down an overpass, and then she had another kill, Cochran picked up a point as well and the score was 12-8. Gasser and Waddill came up with the block, and two points later the set and match was Central’s.
Cochran finished the day with 23 kills, Waddill had 9, King and Rademacher 7, DeLacey 6 and Gasser 4. Gasser, the setter, had 47 assists on the day, and libero Brittany Schumacher had 16 digs, Cochran had 17, Gasser 13, and Amalia Ashley had 12. Gasser had 2 of the teams service aces and Rademacher, Cochran, and Schumacher added the others. Rademacher and Waddill each had 1 solo block, though Waddill was part of 7 others, and DeLacey was part of 4 others.
For Hartford Kami Nethersole led the team with 19 kills, Cordell had 15 as did Sareeta Nethersole, Anderson had 12, Tamburri 3, and McCreery 2. Tamburri as Setter had 57 assists on the day. Sareeta Nethersole had 27 digs on the day, Tamburri 20, and Kami Nethersole had 14, with Cordell and McCreery had 12 as well. Cordell had the lone solo block of the game for U of H but was also part of 4 blocks, Anderson and Sydney Scott participated in 2 as well, as did Sareeta Nethersole.
Editor’s Note: This is based on notes taken at the match, verified against the official play by play if possible. (Official box score was posted here by sports information.) Reports focus on offense since it is easier to track but note defensive play whenever possible. It is difficult to note things like digs and assists although they are no doubt vital to the game. Also, a lot happens in a volleyball game, far more than can fit into a report, so this just notes some of it.
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