Volleyball Extends Winning Streak to Nine After Coaching Change

Chris DiGeronimo , Sports Editor

The volleyball team may not  be playing with their former coach, but not much has changed as they were able to defeat LIU Post in five sets on Tuesday.

This was a tough matchup for the Chargers as they finished the game with a .208 hitting percentage, 35 points lower than their season average of .243. It was also tough as this was their first game without coach Ana Pego. The Chargers were outplayed on the defensive end, as they only accumulated 76 digs compared to LIU Post’s 88. This was only the third time this season that the Chargers were taken to a fifth set.

This match got off to a quick start, as both teams came out firing. The first set featured 11 lead changes and nine ties, with the Chargers and Pioneers going back and forth. With New Haven up 24-23, the Pioneers couldn’t keep up as they committed a service error, allowing the Chargers to take the first set 25-23.

It was a similar start of the second set as both teams weren’t giving an inch. In a game of runs, LIU Post was able to take advantage of some Charger mistakes, and turn a 3 point deficit into a 5 point lead. At that point, the Pioneers led 14-9 and took control of the set. The Chargers were able to get within striking distance, but ultimately ended up losing the set, 25-19. The third and fourth sets were split between both teams, with New Haven taking the third 25-21, and LIU Post taking the fourth in convincing fashion, 25-17. The momentum seemed to be in the Pioneers’ favor going into the fifth set, but the Chargers regrouped , and were able to make  a quick 9-3 lead on a combination of kills, service errors and two services by senior Brianna Mirmina and junior Mallory Nowicki. After a 3 point run by the Pioneers to make the set 10-6, the Chargers took control of the set, winning 15-8 on a kill by senior Kristine Rios.

The Chargers’ offense was once again led by Nowicki, who finished the game with a season high 18 kills. Rios continued her dominance in the assist category, as she finished with a season high 41 assists. Mirmina led the defense with 19 digs, followed by freshman Jalynne Finn, who contributed three blocks.

Volleyball will return to Charger Gym on Saturday, Oct 6 when they take on Franklin Pierce at 1 p.m.