Dowling, Bridgeport Set to Meet in NCAA Volleyball Regional Final

Dowling, Bridgeport Set to Meet in NCAA Volleyball Regional Final

Repeat of the ECC Championship as the top seeded Golden Lions take on the third seeded Purple Knights

Semifinal Recaps:

Bridgeport Moves Into NCAA Regional Final With 3-2 Win Over New Haven
Oakdale, NY- For the first time in school history, the University of Bridgeport women's volleyball team has advanced to the NCAA Division II Round of 16 and the East Regional Final after a hard-fought, back-and-forth, five set, 25-16, 24-26, 25-16, 24-26, 15-9 win over the University of New Haven Chargers on Friday night. UB will now face the host Dowling College Golden Lions, 3-0 winners over Bentley University in the other East Regional semifinal, at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night for the East Regional title and a trip to the NCAA Division II Volleyball Elite Eight.

With the win, UB is now a single-season, school record 33-6.  New Haven ends its season at 25-6.

Bridgeport and Dowling have already met four times this season, with each team winning twice. UB won the last meeting in the East Coast Conference Championship Tournament in five-sets on November 14th.

In the victory over UNH, junior Terry Masava (Nairobi, Kenya) led the team with 22 kills and hit .348 for the match. She also chipped in 22 digs and had a service ace.

Junior Ivana Kovacevic-Jurasin (Belgrade, Serbia) had 14 kills, including the final two of the match, and she added seven digs and two blocks (one solo).

In the fifth and decided set, the Purple Knights blitzed New Haven with a .412 hitting percentage crushing 10 kills on 17 attacks with only three errors. As a team, UB hit .250 on the night; while UNH hit .134.

A big difference in the outcome was Bridgeport's outstanding defense led by senior libero JJ Edwards (Georgetown, Ontario, Canada) who had a match-leading 27 digs. As a team, UB had 84 digs which offset New Haven having 19 more attacks in the contests. Bridgeport also had 10 service aces in the match to New Haven's four. Edwards led the Purple Knights in aces with five.

Graduate student Agatha Baliddawa (Jinja, Uganda) had an excellent match on offense registering 10 kills on 19 attacks with no errors. She also had five blocks two solos. Classmate Emma Ariyo (Kampala, Uganda) had nine kills and five block assists to help Bridgeport to the win.  Setter Milica Micovic (Belgrade, Serbia) directed the Bridgeport offense with 50 assists on the night.

-Provided by Bridgeport Sports Information department.

Dowling Advances to NCAA East Regional Championship Game   
Oakdale, NY-The Golden Lions defeated the Bentley University Falcons 3-0 in the NCAA Regional Semi-finals. 

Patrycja Klekotka Dowling stumbled out of the starting block in the first set as they fell behind 8-11.  The Golden Lions struggles continued as Bentley went on a 4-1 run to open up a 15-9 lead.  After an Alex Koszalka timeout Dowling regained its composure from their Senior leadership of Kelly Scott (Moscow, ID) and Patrycja Klekotka (Siedlce, Poland).  Scott and Klekotka combined for 2 kills each to help the Golden Lions erase the deficit and tie the game at 17 all.  The Falcons were resilient in their effort as they fought back to regain a 24-20 advantage, but 5 straight by Bentley let Dowling right back into the set and they capitalized on a Klekotka kill to end the first set 26-24.  Klekotka had the firepower offensively for the Golden Lions with 4 kills in the set.  Alaura Berry led the Falcons with 4 kills.

Dowling hit the ground running in the set with the power serving of Klekotka.  Her tough serving set up the Golden Lions attack which featured a kill from Janae Giles (Sandy, UT) and a service ace and kill from Klekotka to open a 5-0 led in the first set before a Bentley timeout.  Yet again the falcons would fight back tieing the set at 7. At that juncture the Golden Lions went on a 10-2 run to take a commanding 17-9 run.  Bentley again would fight back to within 2 at 21-19 but back to back kills by Bethany Shepard (Lakewood, CO) would put the Falcons at the brink and a kill by Kelly Scott ended the second set 25-20.  Klekotka again led the Golden Lions with 5 kills in the set and Alex Kearney led Bentley with 4 kills to bring her total to 8.   

The 3rd set proved to be the final as Dowling really got rolling offensively.  The Golden Lions exploded out to a 11-3 and never looked back as they expanded that lead to 19-5.  Janae Giles would end the match and send Dowling into the NCAA East Regional finals with a service ace.  Monika Kasperek led the way with 3 kills for Dowling and Kristine Mickelson contributed 3 kills for Bentley in the 3rd set.

Junior Jovonna Rodriguez (Middletown, NY) pitched in with 5 digs and 2 assists in the back row for the Golden Lions.  Klekotka's 12 kills, 2 service aces and 2 block assists was the driving force behind Dowling's victory.  Scott finished with 8 kills, 6 total blocks and a .571 hitting percentage.  Kristine Mickelson paced the Falcon attack with 9 kills and a .467 hitting percentage.

Dowling will next take on Bridgeport on Saturday November 21st at 7:00 PM in the NCAA East Regional Final. 

-Provided by Dowling Sports Information department.