The Central Connecticut volleyball team fell in the Northeast Conference Championship match on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils (18-13, 12-4 NEC) played LIU Brooklyn in a close four set match, which had each set decided by three points or less. LIU wins the NEC Championship and is now 25-7 on the season and has not lost to an NEC opponent.
The Blue Devils captured the first set behind eight kills from senior Emily Cochran and solid blocking from junior Veronika Ban and sophomore Rachel Dunlap. Dunlap and Ban had three crucial blocks, including the final point of the set. In addition to Cochran, the Blue Devil hitters connected for 17 kills with just four attack errors for a .325 hitting percentage in the set.
LIU rebounded in the second set. The Blackbirds trailed early, but rallied late in the game to win. LIU was behind 20-17, but closed on a 8-2 run to win the set. Neither team was able to get much going on offense, but the BlackBirds were able to use four blocks to help take the lead.
The Blue Devils fell in an exciting third set, which saw CCSU and LIU continue to challenge each other. CCSU trailed 16-14, but Cochran and Dunlap and then Dunlap and Ban posted back-to-back blocks to tie the score at 16. Central trailed again late in the set, 24-19, but CCSU again rallied. This time with a kill by King and an ace by sophomore Brittany Schumacher. Rademacher followed with another kill, but the Blue Devils were unable to overtake the Blackbirds in the set.
The fourth set was as exciting as the third, but LIU was able to win the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1. The Blue Devils blocked LIU's first attempt at match point, but the Blackbirds were able to close out the game on the next rally.
Cochran and Lommori earned NEC All-Tournament honors for their performances in CCSU's two tournament matches.
Cochran finished the match with 20 kills, 10 digs and a block. King also had a great game on the attack with 17 kills and a .353 hitting percentage.
Lommori finished with 46 assists, seven kills, a .412 hitting percentage and 12 digs.
Senior Allyson Porter led the team with 21 digs. She did not make a receiving error in the match. Schumacher (17), Ban (12), Lommori (12) and Cochran (10), along with Porter, all reached double-digit digs.