The Lady Bears Volleyball team finished their 2008 season with another straight set victory over the Old Westbury Panthers on Wednesday night in front of a large crowd as the student body celebrated Spirit Day. Also in attendance were members of the NCAA Membership Committee conducting a campus visit as part of the NCAA provisional membership process. The victory increases the Lady Bears' winning streak to 12 and they haven't dropped a set in the last 8 matches. After starting the season at 4-4, adjusting to the new coaching staff, the Lady Bears now sit at 16-4 going into the Hudson Valley Women's Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend.
St. Joseph's got off to a slow start, committing 4 errors including 2 huge blocks from the Panther middle defense that gave Old Westbury an early 0-5 lead, prompting coach Kathleen O'Neill to call a timeout. The timeout seemed to settle the Lady Bears down as they equalized the set at 11-11 didn't trail for the remainder. Behind the strong serve of Bala Huseinovic(Brooklyn, NY / New Utrecht) St. Joe's extended the lead to 21-11, which Huseinovic accounted for 4 points on service aces. The Lady Bears went on to take the opening set 25-15.
The Lady Bears trailed again early in the second set, but after drawing even at 7-7 didn't look back and took the set at 25-12. St. Joseph's outhit Old Westbury 13 kills to 5 and committing only 3 errors.
In the final set, St. Joseph's took control from the outset behind the dominant attack of senior middle hitter Tamara Bulatovic (Queens, NY / Grover Cleveland). Bulatovic had 7 kills and 2 aces during the set, with the majority of the attacks remaining untouched by the Panther defense. The Lady Bears closed out the match 25-14.
Bulatovic led all attackers with 13 kills and setter Jaime Mascetti (Queens, NY / St. John's Prep) had 7 kills, 24 assists and 6 digs. Sophomore Yliane Ulloa(Queens, NY / Midwood) chipped in 6 kills and 9 digs. Old Westbury was led by L'oreal Ellington (5 kills, 5 digs) and Debra DePalma (12 assists, 1 kill).
St. Joseph's closes out the 2008 season on Sunday at the Hudson Valley Women's Athletic Conference Tournament where they hold the #1 seed as a result of their 6-0 record in confernce play. They look to capture their sixth straight HVWAC Conference Championship. The tournament will be held at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.