Central Connecticut fell to second-seeded Sacred Heart, 3-0, in the Northeast Conference volleyball Championship on Saturday in Moon Township, PA. The fourth-seeded Blue Devils were appearing the final for the second time in three seasons, but the Pioneers defeated CCSU for the third time on the season to claim the league crown.
The Blue Devils conclude the season at 15-15 overall after advancing to the championship match for the second time in three seasons. Sacred Heart improves to 20-11 and earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Score: CCSU 0, Sacred Heart 3 (25-23, 25-14, 25-16)
Records: CCSU (15-14), SHU (19-11)
Location: UPMC Events Center (Moon Township, PA)
- Sacred Heart scored the first four points and built an 8-1 lead to open the match.
- The Blue Devils would rally with a 7-0 run and tie the set at 10-10 on a block by freshman Isabelle Roufs and junior Samantha McCreath.
- Central would lead 22-19 after a kill by McCreath, but the Pioneers would respond by outscoring CCSU, 6-1, to close the opening set.
- Central made it 7-5 in the early going of the second set following a kill by Roufs before SHU rattled off five straight points.
- A kill by Sarah Ciszek gave the Pioneers their largest lead of the set at 21-9 and they went on to take the set 25-14.
- CCSU held an early 6-5 lead following three straight points, including kills from Roufs and senior Morgan Woycik.
- The Pioneers responded with a 7-1 run to force a timeout by CCSU before extending the lead to 14-7.
- Central would threaten with four straight points, which included two kills and a block from junior Nicole Kramer. Her kill would make it 14-11 and force an SHU timeout.
- The Blue Devils were unable to get any closer and SHU would score four straight points to close the match and win the championship.
NUMBER TO KNOW
6 - The Blue Devils played in their sixth Northeast Conference championship match.
- Juniors Ashlyn Eisenga and Emma Henderson were named to the All-Tournament Team.
- Central is now 10-22 all-time in Northeast Conference Tournament play. Central played in the final for the sixth time and for the second time since 2017.
- CCSU is 20-20 against SHU since 2002, but has dropped the last four meetings in the series.
- Eisenga had a team-high 14 digs.
- Roufs led the Blue Devils with eight kills and added two blocks.
- Kaprelyan had her ninth double-double with 12 assists and 11 digs. She added six kills.
- Senior Morgan Woycik had seven kills, while senior Erin McDermott finished with 12 assists.
- Juniors Samantha McCreath and Nicole Kramer each had five blocks and three kills.
- Central finished the season, 8-3, in its final 11 matches.