NJCU Volleyball Goes 1-2, Places 5th At Crimson Eagle Classic

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LANGHORNE, Pa. — New Jersey City University dropped a pair of matches to Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham and Stevenson University, but bounced back for a win over Rosemont College, to place fifth at the Crimson Eagle Classic, hosted by Philadelphia Biblical University on Saturday.

The Gothic Knights (2-3) dropped a 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-16) decision to FDU-Florham and were also swept by eventual tournament champion Stevenson, 3-0 (25-6, 25-17, 25-19) before rebounding to defeat Rosemont, 3-1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-14).

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Senior setter ALEX JOHANESEN (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) had 81 assists in three matches to climb into second place in program history with 2,293 career helpers in 299 sets. Nadia DaSilva Ducos (2004-07, 417 sets) is the all-time program leader with 2,677 assists. Johanesen moved past Sofia Gutierrez who had 2,292 helpers from 2005-06.

Junior outside hitter TABITHA JORDAN (West New York, NJ/Memorial) tallied 42 digs in three matches, tallying double figures in the category for the 19th and 20th time in her career. She posted a career high 22 kills in the win over Rosemont.

*************MATCH 1: FDU-FLORHAM 3, NEW JERSEY CITY 0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-16)*************

In the first meeting between the clubs since October 6, 2007, FDU hit .257 (38-12-101) and landed 11 service aces in the 3-0 win. The Devils lead the all-time series, 8-3.

Jordan collected a match-high 17 digs and landed eight kills, while Johanesen delivered 21 assists. Junior libero MICHELLE RAYO (Jersey City, NJ/County Prep) provided 15 digs.

FDU (7-2) had 15 players see action. Senior middle hitter Lauren Brazier (Stony Brook, NY) hit .421 with 11 kills (11-3-9) and sophomore outside hitter Chelsea Hoeffler (Cranford, NJ/Cranford) tallied 10 kills and hit .267 (10-2-30) with seven digs. Senior setter Kerry Kuperman (Scottsdale, AZ) finished with 21 digs. Junior libero Marta Matera (East Brunswick) added 11 digs.

*************MATCH 2: STEVENSON 3, NEW JERSEY CITY 0 (25-6, 25-17, 25-19)*************

Stevenson (7-1) downed NJCU in the first match the Mustangs played in the tournament, before defeating FDU and host Philadelphia Biblical en route to the tournament crown. Stevenson leads the all-time series, 2-0.

For NJCU, Johanesen had 14 assists and two aces and Jordan landed seven of NJCU’s 15 kills. Sophomore defensive specialist AMANDA DOPICO (West New York, NJ/Memorial) finished with 10 digs and Rayo contributed nine.

Stevenson hit .333 as a team with 38 kills (38-10-84) and while no player reached double figures in winners, 15 players saw action. Junior setter Amy Rudolph (North East MD) had 21 assists and a .447 setting percentage and sophomore outside hitter Avery Gabbard (Arnold, MD) tallied 11 digs and hit .400 (4-0-10). Freshman outside hitter Stacey Rex (Finksburg, MD) hit .500 with eight winners (8-1-14).

After Stevenson easily won the opening set, the two schools traded seven leads in the second set. But tied 11-11, the Mustangs scored nine straight points for a 20-11 margin, winning the game. Stevenson never trailed in the third set.

*************MATCH 3: NEW JERSEY CITY 3, ROSEMONT 1 (21-25, 26-14, 25-21, 25-14)*************

In the first-ever meeting between NJCU and Rosemont, Jordan slammed a career-best 22 kills and added 20 digs for her first career 20-20 result, as the Knights won the tournament’s fifth-place match. Jordan, who eclipsed her previous best of 20 kills on October 22, 2009 versus Lehman, hit .196 (22-11-56), and added four aces.

Johanesen delivered a match best 46 assists, with eight digs and four aces as NJCU landed 16 aces as a team. Rosemont answered with 10 aces.

Rayo defended a career and team-season high 27 digs and Dopico added 16 digs as NJCU limited the Ravens (0-7) to a .092 attack percentage.

Freshman outside hitter MARISSA SCARPA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) posted a career-best 12 kills and hit .152 (12-7-33). Freshman opposite ROSANNA GOMEZ (Weehawken, NJ/Weehawken) contributed 10 digs, five kills and three aces. Sophomore middle hitter BRITTANY EREZUMA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) had seven kills and freshman middle hitter ASHLEY LATUSHKO (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) chipped in five kills and four aces.

The Ravens received 15 kills and a .268 percentage from senior middle blocker Karen Boyle (Swarthmore, PA), who added 20 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Gabrielle Gaines (Philadelphia, PA) also had a double-double with 18 digs and 10 kills. Senior setter Christa Bednarek (Philadelphia, PA) provided 30 digs and 22 assists.

In the opening set, NJCU led 18-14 before the Ravens pieced together a 9-0 run for a 23-18 advantage, winning 25-21. It was the 10th consecutive set the Knights had dropped.

Trailing 23-21 in the second set, and staring at a possible 2-0 deficit, NJCU called a timeout and began to rally once returning to the court. Jordan landed a kill to cut it to one, before Boyle gave the Ravens set point with a winner and a 24-22 lead. But NJCU would land four consecutive kills to claim a 26-24 win. Jordan made it 24-23 and Gomez tied it at 24-24. Jordan, who had five kills in the second set—including four after the timeout—buried back-to-back kills to seal the win and even the match at 1-1.

Jordan’s hot streak continued in the third set as she collected eight kills on a .375 attack rate (8-2-16). There were seven ties in the game, including 19-19. Leading by one, Scarpa and Jordan tallied winners and Erezuma provided a shot for a 24-21 margin before Jordan gave NJCU a 2-1 match lead with a kill on set point.

NJCU never trailed in the fourth set and Jordan hit .333 with five kills (5-2-9) in the game to help seal the win. Leading 15-10 midway through the set, NJCU ran off five straight points for a 20-10 advantage before prevailing by 11.

NJCU will open play in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and make its 2010 home debut on Thursday, September 16 at 7 p.m. when it hosts William Paterson University at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center on “Coach Charlie Brown Court.”


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