JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Despite missing one of its top players and facing defeat at match point, the resilient Saint Elizabeth volleyball team came away victorious Tuesday night at New Jersey City University.
The Screaming Eagles improved to 21-7 overall with a 3-2 victory with set scores of 13-25, 26-24, 14-25, 26-24, 15-11, the team’s second win of the season over the Gothic Knights. CSE swept to a 3-0 win over NJCU on October 13.
CSE took the court Tuesday night without junior setter Amy Cooper, the team leader in service aces and assists, sidelined with an injury. The offensive attack appeared out of sorts as the Screaming Eagles posted a negative hitting percentage (-.087) and lost the opening set 25-13.
The attack struggled again the second set (-.115 hitting percentage), yet CSE was able to hold off the Gothic Knights, 26-24. Sophomore middle Kiara Francisco, who had a key block on the 23rd point, landed a kill for the 25th point and a NCJU hitting error gave CSE the set and knotted the match overall, a set apiece.
After NJCU dominated the third set, opening up a 17-9 lead on the way to a 25-14 set win. The Gothic Knights, down 18-11 to the Screaming Eagles in the fourth set, rallied to pull within a point 18-17. CSE sophomore Jenae Goodson, subbing in for Amy Cooper at setter, tallied a kill on a run that saw the Screaming Eagles push to a 21-17 lead. A pair of successful team blocks by CSE increased the advantage to 23-20 before the Gothic Knights staged a sudden four-point rally reach match point, 24-20.
CSE took a timeout, and on the ensuing play scrambled to win the point after a NJCU blocking error. The Screaming Eagles went on to win the set, 26-24, led by Goodson who tallied four kills, and the match went to a fifth and final set.
The Screaming Eagles, with their newfound life, rolled out to a commanding 8-1 lead in the final set. CSE held a 12-7 advantage after solid serving from Rachel Hausler and Nashlly Sokoli but the Gothic Knights closed within one point, 12-11. The Screaming Eagles used a kill from Katie Cooper and a pair of NJCU miscues to close out the set, and the match, for the team’s ninth consecutive victory.
Cooper led CSE with six kills to go along with 12 digs. Middle hitter Subhana Wrights had four kills with 5.5 blocks. Hausler led the defense with 18 digs while Sokoli added 11 digs. Goodson handed out 14 assists with eight digs and four kills.
The Screaming Eagles will hold its regular season finale on Friday, Oct. 26 with a 7 p.m. match against The Cooper Union in St. Joseph’s Hall. The team will be holding its annual Think Pink game that night to raise awareness for breast cancer research and honor those who have been inflicted by the disease.