MONTCLAIR — New Jersey City University junior outside hitter TABITHA JORDAN (West New York, NJ/Memorial) floored a match-high 15 kills and recorded her 15th career double-double and senior setter ALEX JOHANESEN (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) distributed 32 assists but Montclair State University outlasted the Gothic Knights, 3-0 (27-25, 25-18, 25-19) in a New Jersey Athletic Conference match on Thursday night at the Panzer Athletic Center.
Montclair improves to 3-3 in the NJAC (4-21 overall) while NJCU loses its third straight to fall to 6-13 (0-5 NJAC). Montclair leads the all-time series, 19-8; the Knights are still 6-2 in the last eight meetings.
Jordan, who notched her second consecutive double-double and fifth of the season, hit .148 with 15 kills (15-7-54) and 14 digs while Johanesen pulled within 81 assists of the all-time program record, dishing 32 with five digs and one ace, to bring her career total to 2,596 helpers.
Sophomore libero AMANDA DOPICO (West New York, NJ/Memorial) gathered a match-high 24 digs and freshman outside hitter MARISSA SCARPA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) had 15 digs.
NJCU also received seven kills apiece from sophomore middle hitter BRITTANY EREZUMA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) and freshman middle hitter ASHLEY LATUSHKO (Kearny, NJ/Kearny).
Montclair was led by sophomore Alyssa Batiste (Manahawkin, NJ/Southern Regional), whoregistered a triple-double with 11 kills, 14 assists and 14 digs and freshman Marta Topor (Bogota, NJ/Bogota) added 11 kills and 15 digs. Bella Milstein (Edison, NJ/JP Stevens) finished with 20 assists and 10 digs for MSU. Megan Cockcroft (Rutherford, NJ/Rutherford)had seven kills, eight digs and three block assists for MSU, which hit .204 for the match. Libero Kaitlyn Irwin (Cranford, NJ/Cranford) had 23 digs for the Red Hawks.
Montclair State held a 7-2 lead in the opening set and led 17-14 before NJCU scored seven of the next 10 points to take a 21-20 lead on a kill by Latushko. Jordan’s ninth kill in the first set brought the Gothic Knights to set point at 24-22 before a bizarre turn of events kept the set going.
Jordan sent a serve across the net which appeared headed for an ace as it deflected off an MSU player. But before the ball hit the ground Irwin dug the ball out and back over the net surprising the Knights, who could not return the defensive save. The Red Hawks would take advantage scoring the next two points for a 25-24 lead. A ball-handling error knotted the set for the third time. Topor put MSU ahead, 26-25 with a kill before a setting error gave the hosts the opening game, 27-25.
MSU never trailed or was tied in the second set, as the Hawks jumped out to an 11-3 lead as Topor served three points and Irwin four. The Gothic Knights would trim the deficit to 18-15 after a kill by Erezuma and Scarpa landed an ace, and an attack error by MSU shaved the deficit to three, 21-18. But MSU tallied the final four points on a kill by Topor and ace by Millstein, sandwiched around a pair of NJCU attack errors.
There were six ties and three lead changes in the third set. Tied at 13-13, the Red Hawks reeled off seven of the next eight points, which included four attack errors by NJCU for a 20-14 lead. Following a time out, Batiste and Irwin were among the MSU players with a kill to make it 23-17. Back-to-back kills by Jordan and Erezuma got NJCU within 23-19, but the Knights committed a service error and MSU landed a final kill to seal the match.
NJCU is back in action on Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m. in a non-conference match against Hunter College in New York, NY.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!