JERSEY CITY, N.Y. — The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's volleyball team combined for 49 kills and erased one-set deficits on two separate occasions, but couldn't overtake New Jersey City University in the deciding set, dropping a five-set decision (25-21, 25-27, 25-22, 20-25, 15-10) in non-conference action on Thursday night.
Freshmen Cristina Morales (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) paced the Bears with a 14-kill, 21 dig double-double and Makayla Beehler (Rockaway Beach, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) handed out 38 assists paired with 16 digs to direct the offense.
How It Happened
The opening set had NJCU (2-3) pull away to an 11-5 lead after six straight points and the Bears unable to close the gap. A very close second stanza with 15 ties and eight lead changes had St. Joseph's (0-4) level the match at one set apiece behind with Brianna Marrazzo (East Elmhurst, N.Y./St. John's Prep) landing four kills in the frame.
The navy and white held a slim lead throughout most of the third set before the green and yellow turned around the set with a 5-0 run that reversed a 20-18 deficit into a 23-20 lead they wouldn't relinquish to go back up a set.
St. Joseph's would cling to another slim lead throughout the fourth set before the Gothic Knights drew even at the 19-19 mark. But the Bears would close the frame by winning six of the final seven points highlighted by a Marrazzo block and a Valentina Urgo (Astoria, N.Y./St. John's Prep) kill to force a deciding set.
Behind kills from Amber O'Donnell and Pamela Florimon, NJCU built a quick 4-1 lead to open the fifth set and the Bears could never fully close the gap. SJC managed to hit a team-best .278 in the set but couldn't keep pace with NJCU's team-best .450 hitting rate and 80 percent sideout rate in the final frame. A Morales kill—one of her four in the set—brought SJC within one, 7-6, but the hosts pulled away for good winning three straight on a kill and two aces.
For the Bears
- Morales posted match- and career-highs in kills (14) and digs (21)
- Urgo matched her career high landing 12 kills with 13 digs.
- Marrazzo rounded out three Bears slamming double-figure kills with 11 and brought up 20 digs (3rd career match with 20-or more digs) and stuffed two solo blocks.
- Beehler directed the Bears attack to a .103 hitting night, handing out 38 assists and chipping in four kills.
- Kayla Ostermann (Glendale, N.Y./Queens Metropolitan) contributed seven kills and 10 digs.
- The team's 49 kills were the most since a five-set win over Lehman in 2016.
- Six different Bears logged double-digit digs and combined for 95 as a team.
Next Up for the Bears
St. Joseph's heads to Vermont to take on Green Mountain College and Northern Vermont University-Lyndon in a tri-match on Sunday (Oct. 16) starting at 10 a.m.