JERSEY CITY — New Jersey City University junior outside hitter TABITHA JORDAN (West New York, NJ/Memorial) used a wicked jump serve to land 10 of her team’s 22 aces as the Gothic Knights snapped a four-match losing streak, sweeping a non-conference match from St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn), 3-0 (25-9, 25-9, 25-18) on Tuesday evening on “Coach Charlie Brown Court” at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center.
NJCU improves to 7-14 overall and 4-3 at home. The Bears fall to 6-17. It was the first meeting between the clubs since October 26, 2000 and NJCU is now 2-0 all-time in the series (both sweeps).
Jordan became only the fifth player in school history to record double figures in aces in a match and marks the eighth time an individual has notched 10 or more aces. Former NJCU standout Melissa Pablos accomplished the feat four times.
Jordan also led NJCU with seven kills (7-4-22, .136). Senior setter ALEX JOHANESEN (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) distributed 21 assists to bring her career total to 2,637 helpers. She is now just 40 shy of the program record of 2,677 by Nadia DaSilva Ducos (2004-07). Meanwhile, Johanesen landed four aces, bring her career total to 195.
Also for NJCU, sophomore middle hitter BRITTANY EREZUMA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) posted a .400 attack percentage, landing five kills with only one error in 10 swings and freshman middle hitter ASHLEY LATUSHKO (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) added five kills, two aces and one solo block.
Junior libero MICHELLE RAYO (Jersey City, NJ/County Prep) provided seven digs and two aces. Freshman outside hitter ROSANNA GOMEZ (Weehawken, NJ/Weehawken) hit .500 with four kills (4-1-6) and sophomore libero AMANDA DOPICO (West New York, NJ/Memorial) had three aces.
NJCU’s 22 aces mark only the 21st time in 829 matches in program history than the Gothic Knights have registered at least 20 aces in a match.
St. Joe’s received eight assists and two aces from senior setter Melissa Simo (Brooklyn, NY/Midwood) but was limited to a -.100 attack percentage and 11 kills as a team.
NJCU never trailed in the first two sets. Leading 9-5 in set one, the Knights scored 11 of the next 12 points for a 20-6 margin, as Dopico served seven straight points. The Knights, who in all scored 16 of the final 20 points in the set, got a pair of kills from freshman outside hitter MARISSA SCARPA (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) and Latushko for a 23-9 lead before Jordan uncorked two straight aces for a 25-9 decision. NJCU hit .429 in the game with 11 kills (two errors, 21 attempts).
In the second set, NJCU’s hitting percentage increased to .467 behind nine kills in 15 attempts (two errors). NJCU landed seven aces—including six by Jordan individually. Leading 13-7, NJCU scored 12 of the final 14 points of the set. Jordan would serve 10 consecutive balls, landing the six aces as the hosts prevailed by an identical 25-9 result.
In the third set, the Bears were able to take an early 3-0 lead but it didn’t last long as NJCU’s blistering serve continued to support the cause and the Knights landed nine aces in the game—four by Johanesen. Leading 12-11, NJCU gained a sideout and Rayo served five points, including a pair of aces. Johanesen added aces for leads of 22-15 and 23-15 and a solo block by Latushko gave NJCU match point. St. Joe’s added three late points before a Latushko winner sealed the win, 25-18.
NJCU is back in action on Thursday, October 21 at 7 p.m. when it hosts Rutgers University-Camden in a New Jersey Athletic Conference match. It will be a ‘Dig Pink’ event. For the second straight year, NJCU has teamed with the Side-Out Foundation in its efforts to raise money and awareness as part of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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