By D.F. Pendrys
NEW HAVEN, CT – Despite valiant last ditch efforts by SCSU’s volleyball team, they fell to Stonehill three sets to one Tuesday night in Pelz gym.
The first and third sets were won rather handily by the visiting Skyhawks by scores of 25-14 and 25-10 respectively. Stonehill was able to build big leads while holding Southern to minuscule points for most of the sets though each set the Owls would find more scoring late, but not enough to close the gap.
Set 2 however closed the door on a Stonehill sweep and opened the door for the home team. It was played very evenly throughout as the teams basically went back and forth all the way to a 16-16 tie. Stonehill’s Basia Peragine teed up a blast to regain the lead and her teammate Lauren Wilke had a big kill of her own, followed by a Bianca Fitch service ace to make the lead 16-19. SCSU called timed out and when play resumed the teams traded points for a time advancing Stonehill slowly towards a set win if it were to continue. But following an SCSU point off a Stonehill service error, Southern’s Krishnalei So’oto launched three service aces in a row to snatch the lead away. A serve into the net tied it backed up, but another sequence of point trading later, Lillee Olson spiked a ball off a defender and out of play for a 24-23 lead and a Skyhawk attack error on the ensuing point closed it out 25-23.
The decisive set 4 was similar to set 2 in each team was even for awhile, as the two squads tied it up at 15-15. But from that point on Stonehill gained the advantage, as Shannon Burgess launched a rocket of a kill sideways for the lead and then another kill off the blockers for a two point gap. The lead continued to group including off some Southern errors and it was soon 17-23. Gabriela Gaibur of Southern let a spike fly with success, but Abby Remick of her opponent’s got a point right back with a blast off the defenders and into the wall to bring the Skyhawks within 1 point of set and game victory. Erika Benson and Gabriela Vazquez picked up two more points for SCSU and Vazquez and Abigail Epstein shared a block to cut the lead to 21-24, however an error on the ensuing point ended set and match 21-25.
For SCSU, Gaibur notched 10 kills followed by Vazquez’s six. Lily Miller had 13 Assists, and Taylor Jones picked up 12. So’oto had 4 of the team’s five Aces. Epstein blocked 2 balls solo and 4 shared four other blocks. Olson also shared two blocks. So’oto had 19 Digs, Miller had 11, and Gaibur had 10.
Jentry Allen led Stonehill with 15 kills, Remick had 12, and Burgess and Peragine tallied 11. Burgess hit for .500 and Allen hit for .452 on the day. Wilke led the team with 41 assists. Kristen DeLorenzo, and Fitch each had 2 Aces and the team had a total of six. Burgess shared 2 blocks, one each with Wilke and Remick. Carly Russell had 20 Digs and Wilke had 19.
Lisa Barbaro’s SCSU team is now 13-4 and 2-1 in the NE10. Craig Martin’s Stonehill is 11-5 and 2-0 in the NE10.