West Haven, Conn. – The fourth seeded
NYIT volleyball team faced a hard-fought 3-2 loss to top-seeded New
Haven in the NCAA Division II East Region Semifinal Friday night at
Charger Gymnasium in West Haven, Conn. The final set scores were
16-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, and 13-15.
The Bears bring the 2012 season to a close with the program’s 15th 20-plus win season, 22-10. NYIT finished the East Coast Conference schedule with a 12-4 record and a No. 2 seed in the league tournament. The Bears advanced to the NCAA Regional semifinal with a 3-1 victory over fifth-seeded Franklin Pierce. It was the program’s fourth trip the regional semifinal. The Bears are 4-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
With the win, New Haven advances to the NCAA Division II East Region Championship match and will face second-seeded Bridgeport on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.
Junior Shelby Cable (DeSoto, Mo.) led the Bears with 16 kills. Junior Katarina Sretenovic (Belgrade, Serbia) added 15 kills and junior Savannah Donarski (Powell, Wyo.) chipped in with 14 kills. Senior libero grabbed a match-high 15 digs. Junior setter Marija Jovanovic (Belgrade, Serbia) dished out 45 assists and had the Bears lone service ace. Junior Kelly Brown (Queens Village, N.Y.) tied the team-high three total blocks with a match-high two solo blocks.
The Chargers jumped to a quick 5-0 lead in the first set forcing the Bears to use an early timeout. Out of the break, New Haven produced three more unanswered points before a kill from Sretenovic put NYIT on the scoreboard. Despite well placed kills from Donarski, Cable, Brown, and Jovanovic, the closest the Bears were able to get was 20-16 before the Chargers went on to win the first set 25-16. New Haven out-hit NYIT .400 to .086 for the set.
The second set was tied twice before New Haven went on a 5-1 run to take a 7-3 lead. The Chargers then claimed a 10-5 lead on a Bears setting error, which had NYIT call its first timeout of the set. After the break, NYIT went on a 6-3 run fueled by Cable, Jovanovic, Donarski and Sretenovic to come within two points 13-11. However, the Chargers continued to control the scoreboard and reached 20 points on a kill from Ashley Dalton. New Haven took set three 25-19. The Chargers out-hit the Bears .448 to .194 for the set.
The Bears gained their first lead of the match to open the third set. The score was then tied four more times before NYIT pulled ahead 7-5. Although New Haven remained within one points for the next few rallies, NYIT held the upper hand and reached a 12-9 lead on a kill from Sretenovic. However, New Haven found an equalizer 14-14. From there, the two teams battled point-for-point until NYIT earned a 21-18 edge. The Bears went on a 6-2 run to win the third set 25-20. The Bears out-hit the Chargers .355 to .111 for the set.
The fourth set began similar to the previous stanza with a triplet of knots before NYIT grabbed a 6-3 lead on a spike from Kate Brock (River Edge, N.J.). New Haven then produced a 10-2 rally that knotted the score and gave the Chargers a 13-8 advantage. Yet, the Bears were not about to back down and went on a 7-1 run to claim a 15-14 edge on a Chargers’ attack error. After a timeout called by New Haven, NYIT pushed its lead to 20-17 before New Haven knotted the score 20-20. A block by Sretenovic and Brock put the Bears back on top 21-20. NYIT reached set point on a kill from Cable and won 25-23 on a New Haven attack error.
In the fifth and decisive set, the Bears opened with a 5-1 run that forced the Chargers to call a timeout. NYIT was first to reach eight points, 8-6, on a kill by Donarski. However, New Haven tied the set 9-9 on a kill from Amber Cannady. The Chargers then gained an 12-10 lead on a kill Kaulana Ane. New Haven went on to win 15-13.
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.