Volleyball Upsets Top-Seeded Robert Morris at NEC Volleyball Championship on Friday

Volleyball Upsets Top-Seeded Robert Morris at NEC Volleyball Championship on Friday

Central Connecticut upset top-seeded Robert Morris in five sets on Friday at the Northeast Conference Volleyball Championship in Moon Township, PA. The fourth-seeded Blue Devils had four players record double-doubles, led by junior Emma Henderson who posted 24 kills and 25 digs. Central won the first two sets of the match before the Colonials rallied to force a decisive fifth set where CCSU would score the final three points to advance to the championship match.

The Blue Devils will play in the championship match on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. against second-seeded Sacred Heart.

GAME INFORMATION
Score: CCSU 3, Robert Morris 2 (26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 24-26, 15-12)
Records: CCSU (15-14), RMU (25-5)
Location: UPMC Events Center (Moon Township, PA)

COACH QUOTE

"We knew we were in a battle and most likely it was not going to be over in three. What a volleyball match...but our kids responded so well and I'm so proud of each and every one of them because they didn't give up and they believed. They played hard every single point and I couldn't be more proud of them," said head coach Linda Sagnelli.

KEY MOMENTS 

FIRST SET:

  • Central led the top-seeded Colonials throughout the first part of the opening set and held a 15-14 lead off a kill by freshman Isabelle Roufs midway through the set. The Colonials regrouped and after a block to go ahead, 17-16, the Blue Devils called timeout.
  • Central regained the momentum in the opening set after a kill by junior Emma Henderson to make it 19-19. Henderson then served an ace, followed by a Colonials error to make it 21-19.
  • After the set was tied at 24-24, CCSU took advantage of a RMU error and then got a kill from Henderson to take the first set.

SECOND SET:

  • Central led the top-seeded Colonials throughout the first part of the opening set and held a 15-14 lead off a kill by freshman Isabelle Roufs midway through the set. The Colonials regrouped and after a block to go ahead, 17-16, the Blue Devils called timeout.
  • Central regained the momentum in the opening set after a kill by junior Emma Henderson to make it 19-19. Henderson then served an ace, followed by a Colonials error to make it 21-19.
  • After the set was tied at 24-24, CCSU took advantage of a RMU error and then got a kill from Henderson to take the first set.

THIRD SET:

  • CCSU raced out to a lead and went in front, 7-2, after a kill by Henderson capped a spurt of six straight points.
  • The Blue Devils extended the cushion to 15-9 after a kill by Kaprelyan, forcing a timeout by RMU.
  • The Colonials would claw back to within two points after a 4-0 run to get within, 18-16. Following a run of four straight points, RMU would take a 23-22 lead and outscore Central to close the set, 6-1, and extend the match.

FOURTH SET:

  • Three straight points gave Robert Morris a 12-9 lead following a service ace.
  • Central would use a 5-1 spurt to take a 21-20 lead after back-to-back kills by Henderson and McCreath.
  • The score was tied at 24-24 before a kill and service ace sent the match to a decisive fifth set.

FIFTH SET:

  • The teams alternated scoring until back-to-back kills by Henderson put CCSU ahead, 8-6, midway through the set.
  • The Colonials would score a pair of points to even the set before a kill by Henderson made it 9-8. Central extended the lead to 12-9 following a kill by Henderson.
  • A kill and two aces by Emma Granger, the NEC Player of the Year, would even the set at 12-12.
  • The Blue Devils took advantage of an RMU error and got back-to-back kills by McCreath to win the match.

NUMBER TO KNOW

24 - Henderson had a career-high in kills to pace the Blue Devils in recording a season-high 69 kills as a team.

NOTES 

  • Central is now 10-21 all-time in Northeast Conference Tournament play advance to the final for the sixth time, and the first since 2017.
  • CCSU defeated RMU for the first time in three tries this season and is 13-20 against RMU since 2001. 
  • Junior Emma Henderson posted her 15th double-double of the season with 24 kills and 25 digs.
  • Junior Samantha McCreath had her seventh double-double of the year with 20 kills and 17 digs.
  • Senior Erin McDermott had her ninth double-double of the year with a season-high 41 assists and 15 digs.
  • Senior Madelyn Kaprelyan had her eighth double-double of the season with 21 assists and 19 digs.
  • Freshman Isabelle Roufs had 12 kills and a team-high six blocks.
  • Junior Ashlyn Eisenga had 25 digs and did not commit a receiving error in the match.
  • Central has won eight of its last 10 matches.
  • CCSU has played four straight five set matches in the NEC Tornament. 

UP NEXT
Central advances to the championship match and will play Sacred Heart at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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