Volleyball Finishes Play at the Hartford Invitational Saturday

Volleyball Finishes Play at the Hartford Invitational Saturday

The Central Connecticut volleyball team played Rhode Island and Hartford on Saturday at the Hartford Invitational in West Hartford, CT. The Blue Devils lost to URI, 3-0, and Hartford, 3-2, to close out play at the two-day event.

CCSU is 4-2 on the season and will play at the Big Green Invitational next weekend.

Match #1: Rhode Island 3, CCSU 0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-18)

Central dropped its first match of the season, falling 3-0 to Rhode Island. The Blue Devils took a 5-2 lead in the opening set. The set was tied 9-9 before the Rams scored four straight points to take the lead for good. URI won the set 25-22 af the Blue Devils scored three straight points to close within two points.

URI took a 4-1 lead in the second set before CCSU clawed back to draw level at 5-5. The Blue Devils then took a 10-8 lead following a service ace from sophomore Kaitlyn Kushman. CCSU took a momentary lead at 18-17, but Rhode Island closed the set on a 8-1 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Central opened the third set strong and was tied at 4-4 after a kill by freshman Morgan Woycik, but URI scored eight unanswered points to build a commanding lead and would go on to win the third set, 25-18.

Senior Maddie Smith and freshman Madelyn Kaprelyan led the Blue Devils' attack with eight kills apiece. Kushman had 15 assists, while senior Rachel Fish had a team-high 11 digs.

Match #2: Hartford 3, CCSU 2 (26-24, 25-18, 29-27, 25-16, 16-14)

The Blue Devils rallied from a two-set deficit to push Hartford to five sets before falling, 3-2. The Hawks took the first two sets of the match, including a tightly-contested first set by a count of 26-24.

CCSU led in the second set, 15-12, before Hartford took control with a 10-2 run. The Hawks scored the final three points of the set and would win 25-18.

Central would rally in the third set by scoring the first two points and eventually stretched the lead to 14-10 after scoring three straight points to force a Hartford timeout. The Blue Devils would lead 20-16 following a Hawks attacking error, but Hartford responded with five straight points to take a 21-20 lead. Down 24-22, sophomore Raquel Quirarte kept CCSU alive with a kill and later closed the set out with a kill to make it 27-27 and then served the final two points, including an ace to give CCSU a 29-27 win in the set. 

The Blue Devils scored four straight points early in the fourth set to take a 5-2 lead and led throughout. A 7-1 run would extend the lead to 19-11 on back-to-back service points from freshman Erin McDermott. Kills from Smith and senior Cassidy Stankowski would close the set out, 25-16, to force a fifth set. 

In the fifth set, neither side would hold a lead larger than two points. A kill by senior Brooke Schwab would thwart Hartford's first match point to tie the set at 14-14. The Hawks would come back to score the next two points, however, and win the set 16-14 and take the match 3-2.

Quirarte led the Blue Devils with 14 kills, while Woycik added 12. Schwab finished with 10 kills, while hitting .421 and had a team-high five blocks. Kushman and McDermott collected 25 and 21 assists, respectively. Fish finished with 20 digs.

CCSU will travel to Dartmouth next weekend for the Big Green Invitational in Hanover, NH. The Blue Devils will play Niagara and Dartmouth on Friday, before playing Army on Saturday.