NJCU Volleyball Splits Tri-Match

JERSEY CITY– New Jersey City University junior outside hitter TABITHA JORDAN (West New York, NJ/Memorial) notched 12 kills in each match and senior setter ALEX JOHANESEN (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) gave out 56 assists in seven sets as the Gothic Knights split a home tri-match on Saturday, sweeping Mitchell College, 3-0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-21) before dropping a four-setter to Lehman College, 13-25, 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center on “Coach Charlie Brown Court.”

NJCU is 3-5 on the season after splitting the session. Lehman won both its matches on the day to even its record at 4-4. The Lightning downed Mitchell (3-3), 25-21, 27-25, 25-19, in Saturday’s other contest.

MATCH 1: NEW JERSEY CITY 3, MITCHELL COLLEGE 0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-21)
In the second-ever meeting between the schools, NJCU did not trail in the first two sets and easily handed the Mariners a three-set setback as the Knights posted a season-best .328 team hitting percentage, behind 30 kills and only eight errors in 67 attacks.

It was NJCU’s highest team hitting percentage in its last 37 matches—since notching a .381 line on October 18, 2008 against Medgar Evers College. NJCU is 2-0 all-time against Mitchell.

Johanesen delivered 25 assists and a .403 setting percentage while Jordan hit .400 with 12 kills (12-2-25). Freshman middle hitter ASHLEY LATUSHKO (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) posted an impressive .538 attack rate, landing seven kills without an error in 13 swings.

Sophomore defensive specialist AMANDA DOPICO (West New York, NJ/Memorial) added four of NJCU’s 11 service aces and junior libero MICHELLE RAYO (Jersey City, NJ/County Prep) chipped in three aces while freshman opposite ROSANNA GOMEZ (Weehawken, NJ/Weehawken) hit .333 with four kills (4-1-9).

Mitchell entered the day with a 3-1 record, but was limited to a .036 attack percentage and only 18 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Shayna Diggs (Gales Ferry, CT) had seven kills and senior outside hitter Stephanie McKeon (Ledyard, CT) finished with seven digs and six kills. Senior setter Jen Bordonaro (Winsted, CT) had 12 assists.

NJCU hit a staggering .600 in the opening set (14-2-20) and an impressive .368 in the second game (8-1-19) to stake a commanding lead in the match. The Knights expanded a three-point, 8-6 game behind the serving of Dopico who had three aces and served eight straight. Rayo had two aces for an 18-6 lead in the opening game. NJCU also owned an 18-6 lead in set two.

In the final frame, three NJCU attack errors gave Mitchell an 18-16 lead before the Knights scored five straight points on three Mariner errors and a Dopico ace. McKeon had two kills to keep Mitchell within two, before Latushko had a winner for 23-20 and a Jordan shot sealed the win.

MATCH 2: LEHMAN COLLEGE 3, NEW JERSEY CITY 0 (25-13, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22)
Lehman College snapped an eight-match losing streak to NJCU, hitting .254 overall as three Lightning players reached double figures in kills. NJCU leads the all-time series, 20-9.

In defeat for NJCU, Jordan collected 12 kills and hit .250 (12-3-36), adding 13 digs for her 12th career double-double and 21st match with double digits in digs. Johanesen delivered 31 assists to up her career total to 2,372 helpers in 309 sets.

Sophomore middle hitter BRITTANY EREZUMA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) posted a career-high nine kills and hit .292 (9-2-24). Latushko added seven kills and two solo blocks. Rayo defended 17 digs while Dopico and freshman outside hitter MARISSA SCARPA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) each contributed 10 digs.

For the Lightning, which posted a line of 55-21-134 on attack, junior setter Lisa Jagdeo (Bronx, NY) had 47 assists, nine digs and a .420 setting percentage. Junior outside hitter Gerri-Ann Martin (Bronx, NY) registered match-highs of 18 kills (18-6-41, .293) and 22 digs. Junior outside hitter Jennifer Winkler (Glendale, NY) chipped in a .545 attack percentage on 13 kills and just one error in 22 attempts and 15 digs for a double-double. Junior middle blocker Vanessa Brown (Bronx, NY) also had a double-double with 11 kills (11-2-23, .391), 11 digs and three aces. Sophomore Colleen Walker (Bronx, NY) finished with 10 digs.

Lehman hit .560 in a dominant first set, with 15 kills and just one error on 25 attempts. Leading 11-10 in the second set, NJCU scored five in a row behind the serving of Rayo (one ace) and two Latushko kills. Lehman chipped away at the lead, drawing within 19-17 and later 22-20 on back-to-back winners by sophomore middle blocker Yamilka Vincente (Bronx, NY), before Erezuma landed a kill, Scarpa followed with an ace, and Gomez chalked up set point with another winner.

But Lehman notched 15 kills in the third set and 17 in the fourth to take the match. Lehman led 14-12 in the third game, before scoring nine of the next 11 points for a 23-14 margin, winning the set, 25-19.

In a fourth set that saw nine ties and three lead changes, including 16-16, Martin tallied consecutive kills for a 20-17 advantage and another for 21-18. Kills by Jordan and Erezuma closed the gap to 22-21. After an NJCU service error, Gomez trimmed it to 23-22 with a winner before Lehman claimed victory with kills by Winkler and Martin.

NEUTRAL COURT MATCH: LEHMAN 3, MITCHELL 0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-19)

Neither side had a player reach double digits in kills as Lehman hit .169 overall and Mitchell .097. Jagdeo had 17 assists and nine digs to lead Lehman, while Martin compiled 11 digs and seven kills (7-2-18, .278).

The Mariners received 11 assists, six digs and five service aces from Bordonaro in the first match of the tri-match. McKeon had nine digs and seven kills. Sophomore libero Samantha Alevras-Tarbell (Livingston, NJ) had a match-best 12 digs playing in her home state.

NJCU will play home matches on consecutive days next week. First up is a New Jersey Athletic Conference match against Ramapo College on Tuesday, September 21 at 7 p.m.

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