NYIT Ends Season with 3-1 Loss to AIC in NCAA East Region Semifinals

NYIT Ends Season with 3-1 Loss to AIC in NCAA East Region Semifinals

Amherst, N.Y. - The Daemen College women's volleyball team will play for the East Region championship after defeating the University of New Haven three-sets-to-none (26-24, 26-24, 25-12) in tonight's NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship second round match at Lumsden Gymnasium.  Second-seeded Daemen will face fourth-seeded American International College (Saturday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.) for the right to advance to the Elite 8 which is slated for December 8-10 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Daemen, which is making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, improved to 25-7 on the season with the win (11-5 at home).  It marks the ninth time in team history that Daemen has reached 25 wins in a season, and the first time since going 27-10 in 2012.

New Haven, the No. 3 seed in the East Regional, was bounced out short of the regional finals for the second straight year after winning the regional title in 2014.  The Chargers were making their 31st NCAA tournament appearance all-time, including the last 11 straight.  The loss snapped their six-match winning streak which included a run to the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament crown, ending their season at 20-9 overall.

Outside hitters Amber Drzymala (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Mary's of Lancaster) and Ashley Drzymala (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Mary's of Lancaster), and middle hitter Courtney Bernard (Lancaster, Ohio/Fairfield Union) combined for 29 of the Wildcats' 44 kills in the match.  The Wildcats hit 25.6 percent for the match, up from just 13.7 percent in yesterday's five-set win over No. 7 Post University in the opening round.  Amber Drzymala notched a match-high 11 kills, and Bernard reached double figures for the second straight match with 10.  Ashley Drzymala chipped in with eight kills, all of which came after the first set, to go with eight digs.

Amherst, N.Y. - The NYIT volleyball team met their match in the NCAA Division II East Region semifinals Friday evening, in the fourth-seeded American International College. Despite taking a first set victory, the Bears (29-6) fell in the next three sets as the Yellow Jackets ended their season with a 3-1 victory. The lower seed won their first NCAA tournament game Thursday evening and will advance to the finale for the first time in program history on Saturday, December 3.

Karolina Moderova topped all players in the match with 17 kills, coupled with 13 digs to finish the season with 21 double-doubles. Two other players reached double-figures as Tiffany Verni and Rachel Guida were responsible for 15 and 12, respectively each adding two block assists. Guida finishes her career as the single season block assist holder and sits third in single season hitting percentage with .325 this year. Allison Fowler finished the season with 10 games with 40 or more assists, accounting for 46 in the loss. On defense, Chessie Santeramo topped all players with 25 digs and one service ace.

Bears got out to a slow start, but quickly fell into a rhythm with Portia McIntosh at the service line. Several kills from Moderova had the team out to a two-point advantage and took over serving at 12-10. NYIT held a three-point lead at 17-14 and another strike from Moderova kept the Yellow Jackets at bay. The four-seed was able to come back within one to force Head Coach Gail Wasmus to call a timeout. Kills from Verni and Guida capped with a block from Fowler ended the set at 25-21 to give the Blue and Gold a 1-0 lead in the match.

Momentum quickly shifted as the Black and Gold came out on fire in the second set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead, making the Bears call an early timeout. Coming out of that break NYIT scored three unanswered points and regained the lead on another double block featuring Fowler and Guida. AIC was able to use a 6-2 run to jump out to a five-point advantage but with vengeance the Bears came back with five points in two minutes to make it a 16-16 game. An identical run closed out the match, but this time the Yellow Jackets were on top, making it an even match.

The higher seed was able to maintain a minor lead through the beginning of the third set, however the Yellow Jackets pulled away at 9-9 with six straight points and showed no signs of stopping. The team closed out the set with the same score as the second to command the match with a 2-1 advantage. Several miscues from AIC allowed the Bears to push ahead 5-4 in the fourth, a lead they did not keep for long as Diva Rivas continued to collect kills for the four-seed.

Three attack errors from the NYIT side forced Wasmus to call another timeout as the Black and Gold had them trailing by five. AIC capitalized on a 5-1 run concluding with Rivas's 16th kill of the match to shut the door on the top-seed.

NYIT finishes the 2016 campaign with the program's first East Coast Conference Championship crown in 26 years, their 11th NCAA appearance and a career milestone for Coach Wasmus of 600 wins.

Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.