The Central Connecticut volleyball team topped Robert Morris 3-1 in the Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals on Saturday afternoon to advance to the NEC Championship and face LIU Brooklyn. The two teams will play on Sunday at 3 p.m. at LIU Brooklyn with a trip to the NCAA Tournament at stake.
Central advances to the NEC Final for the first time since the 2003 season. With the victory they are now 18-12 overall on the season. LIU Brooklyn swept the Blue Devils this season, but the last match in New Britain went to five sets. The Blackbirds topped St. Francis (PA) in the other semifinal on the day, and have not lost in conference play this season.
Seniors Emily Cochran and Blaike King both posted 19 kills to lead the Blue Devils to victory. Freshman Makenna Lommori contributed the assist on 45 of Central's 60 kills in the match.
Fittingly, the final three points of the match were consecutive kills by King, Lommori and Cochran. Lommori assisted on the kills by King and Cochran.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match behind a 25-23 first set victory and a 25-17 second set win.
In the first set, King posted five kills and Cochran and junior Veronkia Ban each recorded four. CCSU also had four blocks in the set, including three by senior Jamie Rademacher.
In the second set, Cochran, Ban and King were again the leading hitters, but this time Cochran posted five kills and King and Ban each had three.
Robert Morris captured the third set by a score of 25-13, which set up and exciting final game.
The Blue Devils captured an exciting fourth set by a score of 25-21. The two teams traded points and were frequently within a point throughout the set, but Central was able to pull away for the victory. Lommori contributed 17 assists as CCSU posted 20 kills in the final set to earn the victory. King (8) and Cochran (6) led the team on attack in the final set.
Senior Allyson Porter posted 25 digs to lead the defense. Cochran (18) and Schumacher (10) also contributed to the defense with double-digit digs.
The Blue Devils had six blocks in the match with Rademacher contributing four.
Lommori finished with 45 assists, six kills, seven digs and three blocks. She also reached 1,000 assists for the season with her 27th assist of the game.
Fans that can not attend the match can watch live on NECFrontRow.com.