JERSEY CITY– William Paterson University posted a .280 team hitting percentage and tallied 40 kills as the Pioneers swept New Jersey City University, 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-12) in the 2010 New Jersey Athletic Conference opener for both schools on Thursday evening at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center on “Coach Charlie Brown Court.”
WPU (6-1, 1-0) had a team attack line of 40 kills, 12 errors and 100 attempts. NJCU (2-4, 0-1 NJAC) was playing its first home contest of the season, and collected 27 kills as a club. NJCU has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the schools but WPU leads the all-time series, 33-12.
The Pioneers were led by this week’s NJAC Player of the Week, junior outside hitter Kim Runge (Closter, NJ/Northern Valley Regional-Demarest), who hit .294 with a match-best 13 kills. Sophomore middle hitter Kelly Shaw (Wallington, NJ/Wallington) tallied a match-high 15 digs and added eight kills while junior outside hitter Megan Maher (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Wood-Ridge) finished with nine kills, a .318 attack percentage (9-2-22) and 14 assists.
Also for WPU, senior setter Jillian Bronowich (Secaucus, NJ/Secaucus) distributed 14 assists and eight digs and senior opposite Michelle Leeder (Ridgefield, NJ/Ridgefield Memorial) tallied seven kills (7-3-17, .235) and nine digs.
Senior setter ALEX JOHANESEN (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) upped her career assists total to 2,316 by delivering a match-high 23 with six digs. Freshman middle hitter ASHLEY LATUSHKO (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) had her best career match, hitting .263 with seven kills (7-2-19) and three blocks while junior outside hitter TABITHA JORDAN (West New York, NJ/Memorial) registered a team-high nine kills with eight digs. Sophomore middle hitter BRITTANY EREZUMA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) had four kills (4-1-12, .250).
Defensively, NJCU received 12 digs from junior libero MICHELLE RAYO (Jersey City, NJ/County Prep) and 11 digs from sophomore defensive specialist AMANDA DOPICO (West New York, NJ/Memorial).
NJCU led once in each set, but the Pioneers played solid defense to limit the Knights attack opportunities. In the opening set, NJCU was able to stay close midway through the game. The Pioneers, leading 15-12, used four kills by Runge to separate themselves, seizing a 23-15 advantage, before winning the set by seven.
In the second set, the Pioneers opened a 6-1 lead before NJCU clawed back to force ties at nine, 10, 11 and 12-12. WPU scored five consecutive points to claim a 17-12 margin. The Knights drew within 18-15 before the visitors scored seven of the final eight points of the set.
The Pioneers grabbed a 10-3 lead in the final set. In a frame WPU hit .333 as a team (9-1-24), the Pioneers extended the margin to 22-8 and prevailed by 13 to close the contest.
NJCU will host a non-conference tri-match with Lehman College and Mitchell College, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 18. Meanwhile, the Pioneers visit John Jay College at 11 a.m. for a tri-match that includes Manhattanville College that day.
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