NEW YORK – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's volleyball team took both ends of a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) tri-match at Baruch College on Sunday afternoon, defeating Yeshiva in straight sets (25-18, 25-15, 25-18) before earning a five-set win (25-20, 28-26, 19-25, 18-25, 15-5) over Culinary to clinch their second straight regular season conference title.
St. Joseph's (11-7, 6-0 HVIAC) has now won two matches in a row and clinches the No. 1 seed in the upcoming HVIAC Tournament while Yeshiva (3-7, 2-4 HVIAC) falls out of HVIAC postseason consideration with the loss giving Pratt the No. 4 seed in conference tournament. Culinary (9-4, 4-2) is now 2-3 over their last five matches following a six-match winning streak.
In the opening match, the Lady Bears started off slow with the Maccabees taking an early 8-6 lead but St. Joseph's responded with a 7-2 run that built them a 13-10 advantage and would not trail again for the remainder of the set as they finished the period on a 4-0 run after Yeshiva had gotten within 20-17.
The second set was similar to the first as the Maccabees got off to an early 6-4 lead but the Lady Bears fought back going on a 9-4 run to give themselves a 13-10 lead forcing a Yeshiva timeout. St. Joseph's coasted the rest of the way concluding the set on a 12-5 run to take a 2-0 lead.
The final stanza saw the Maccabees build their largest lead of the match at 11-7 but the Lady Bears came back with seven unanswered to build a 14-11 margin and St. Joseph's did not look back taking the set and the match.
Senior Megan Moran (Syosset, N.Y./St. Dominic's) led the Lady Bears offense with her 13 kills and .310 hitting percentage while teammate sophomore Lauren GaNun (Breezy Point, N.Y./Fontbonne Hall) also had double-digit kills finishing with 12. Junior Jennifer Moncino (Ridgewood, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) contributed a career-high nine kills to go along with seven digs. Senior Sabrina Cornia (Miller Place, N.Y./Miller) helped guide the St. Joseph's offense with her 29 assists.
Yeshiva was led by Emily Rohan who had 13 assists and nine digs while producing a match-high-tying four service aces.
The second match of the day was a back and forth contest as the Lady Bears took the first two sets before the Steels came back winning the next two before St. Joseph's won the deciding fifth set.
The opening set saw Culinary score the first point of the set but that would be the last time the Lady Bears trailed in the opener as they went a 6-1 run to take a 6-2 lead and sailed to a 24-15 lead. However, the Steels responded with a 5-0 spurt to get within 24-20 but the deficit proved to be too much as Moran finished off the set with a kill.
Culinary would build an 18-13 lead in the second set and it looked like they might square the match up but St. Joseph's scored five in a row to knot the score up at 18-18. With the score tied at 21-21, the Lady Bears scored three of the next four points to take a 24-22 lead before the Steels came back and scored two straight to tie the score at 24-24 forcing a tiebreaker. St. Joseph's would score three points in a row, all on GaNun kills, after trailing 26-25 to win the set and take a 2-0 lead.
The third set saw the Lady Bears jump out to a 9-8 lead but Culinary put up four points in a row giving them a 12-9 lead and did not trail again as they cut the St. Joseph's to 2-1.
The Steels would even the match after a fourth set that saw the Lady Bears lead 2-1 very early but that was the last time they led in the set as Culinary had no problems with St. Joseph's until late in the set when the Lady Bears got within 19-17. The Steels responded with four unanswered to take commanding 23-17 lead forcing a pivotal fifth set.
St. Joseph's regrouped after losing the previous two sets starting the fifth stanza on a 6-1 run forcing a stoppage by Culinary. The Lady Bears cruised in the set and clinched their second straight regular season conference title on kill by GaNun.
GaNun stepped up in the most important game of the season recording her seventh double-double of the year slamming down a career-high and match-high 24 kills along with bringing up a career-high 17 digs. Moran finished with a double-double of her own collecting 14 kills and 10 digs while Cornia had 35 assists and 15 digs for her seventh double-double. Sophomore Anna Carbone (Ozone Park, N.Y./Mary Louis) helped lead the Lady Bears on the defensive end with her career-high 35 digs.
The Steels were led by Emily Brown who recorded a double-double finishing with 13 kills and 14 digs.
St. Joseph's concludes HVIAC play and their home slate with Senior Night against Sarah Lawrence on Tuesday, October 22nd at Brooklyn Technical High School. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m.