JERSEY CITY—Richard Stockton College hit .337 as a team and the defending New Jersey Athletic Conference champions won a league match for the 15th consecutive outing, defeating New Jersey City University, 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-10), in an NJAC contest on Tuesday night on Coach Charlie Brown Court at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center.
Stockton wins its seventh straight match, improving to 13-5 overall and 4-0 in the NJAC. The Gothic Knights fall to 5-11 overall but 2-3 in the NJAC, and remain very much still alive for one of six NJAC Tournament berths with three conference matches remaining this year. Stockton, which has won two of the last three NJAC championships, including a victory over NJCU in the 2006 title match, leads the all-time series, 38-5. NJCU defeated Stockton in 2005 for their first NJAC crown.
Stockton hit .337 with 43 kills and 13 errors in 89 attempts as all 13 players on the roster contributed. Sophomore middle hitter Tabitha Nejman (Runnemede, NJ/Our Lady of Mercy) paced the Ospreys with nine kills and a .533 hitting percentage (9-1-15), with two blocks. Freshman outside hitter Kelleigh Best (Medford, NJ/Shawnee) also had nine kills, hitting .368 (9-2-19), coming off the bench. Sophomore outside hitter Christine Velott (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) hit .400 with seven kills (7-1-15), nine digs and three aces.
Also for the visitors, sophomore setter Laura Hausman (Bethlehem, PA/Catasauqua) delivered 15 of Stockton’s 41 assists in a three-setter rotation, adding six digs, four kills in four attempts, and two aces. Junior libero Christine Astarita (Selden, NY/Newfield) had a match-high 12 digs as Stockton limited NJCU to a -.038 attack percentage (15-18-80).
In defeat for NJCU, sophomore outside hitter TABITHA JORDAN (Bayonne, NJ/Memorial), the NJAC Player of the Week, reached double figures in digs for the seventh time in her last eight matches, delivered 10 digs and a team-best five kills. Junior setter ALEX JOHANESEN (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) closed in on 2,000 assists for her career, bringing her career total to 1,980 with 13 in the match, to go along with five digs. Freshman libero AMANDA DOPICO (West New York, NJ/Memorial) had seven digs.
In a tight first set, Stockton held a three-point, 15-12 lead. But after a service error by the Knights, the Ospreys scored 10 of the final 12 points for a 25-14 win.
In the second set, the Ospreys broke open a four-point contest as Best landed two kills for a 14-7 margin, before extending the advantage to 20-8, winning 25-14 again. Stockton hit .500 as a team in the final set, posting 16 kills and only one error, to seal the 3-0 match decision.
NJCU is back in action on Saturday, October 10 at 12 p.m. in a tri-match with Stevenson University and Lancaster Bible College in Stevenson, MD. Stockton competes in the four-match Susquehanna University Crusader Classic on October 9 and 10.
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