Bears Rally to Edge Pioneers 3-2 in ECC Semifinal

Bears Rally to Edge Pioneers 3-2 in ECC Semifinal

Bridgeport, Conn. - Three Bears scored double-digit kills to lead second-seeded NYIT volleyball to a 3-2 victory over third-seeded LIU Post Friday night in the East Coast Conference semifinals hosted by the University of Bridgeport. The final set scores were 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 20-25, and 15-9.

With the win, the Bears improved to 26-5 on the season and advance to the ECC Championship match against the top-seeded Purple Knights of Bridgeport. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hubbell Gymnasium in Bridgeport, Conn.

Senior Shelby Cable (DeSoto, Mo.) led NYIT with 17 kills and senior Savannah Donarski (Powell, Wyo.) added 12 kills. Senior Katarina Sretenovic (Belgrade, Serbia) rounded out the top three with 11 kills. Cable posted a double-double with 11 digs as did senior Marija Jovanovic (Belgrade, Serbia), who dished out match-highs with 39 assists and 18 digs.

For LIU Post, freshman Shelby McCool tallied a match-high 18 kills. Makamae Namahoe added 13 kills for the Pioneers.

After an 8-1 opening in the first set, LIU Post dominated and cruised to a 25-19 win. However, the Bears began to build momentum at the end of the first set and used that to pull ahead 9-4 in the beginning of set two. With a 5-2 rally, NYIT reached set point and evened the match score after a kill by Sretenovic that won the set 25-18.

NYIT continued to control the scoreboard in the third set and led 16-7 before LIU Post began to really chip away at the gap.  Mini runs brought the Pioneers within one point, 23-22, but kills from Kelly Brown (Queens Village, N.Y.) and Sretenovic clinched the third set, 25-22, in favor of the Bears.

However, LIU Post did not give up without a fight and rallied from a 7-4 deficit in the fourth set to knot the score 10-10 on three straight kills from McCool. The set was tied four more times before the Pioneers pulled ahead 22-18. LIU Post went on to win 25-20 and evened the match score to 2-2.

In the fifth and decisive set, Jovanovic served up seven straight winning rallies for the Bears. At the turn, NYIT led 8-1. Although the Pioneers brought the score within three points, 8-5, it was the closest they would get as NYIT cruised to a 15-9 triumph for the 3-2 match victory.

Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.