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Women’s Volleyball Moves One Step Closer to NE-10 Title

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

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For the second straight game in the NE-10 Conference Championship for women’s volleyball, the top seeded Chargers were on the brink of elimination.

The first set of the match set the tone for the night; both teams came out with energy, but Stonehill came out with something to prove. The Skyhawks got out to an early 2-0 lead, followed by two unanswered points by the Chargers. Both teams went back and forth, seizing the momentum gained by either side. Before fans could blink, the set was tied 10-10 with the momentum favoring New Haven. The Chargers were up 21-17 but they couldn’t hold the lead. After a few self-inflicted mistakes by the Chargers, the set was tied at 24. Every time New Haven would go up one point, Stonehill quickly followed with the equalizer. The Chargers crumbled under the pressure and lost the first set 29-27.

The second set brought out a new Chargers team as they were able to take control. New Haven jumped out to a quick 3-2 lead. The Skyhawks got back into it tying the set up at eight a piece, but that was the closest they were going to get. During the second set coach Robin Salters made a rotation change and subbed out junior Kristine Rios for freshman Angela Chen. The tactic seemed to work again as the Chargers got out to a 21-17 lead and didn’t look back. New Haven won the set 25-18.

The third set was a hassle for the Chargers as they got behind 8-1 to start the set. The Chargers hurt themselves with service errors and carrying violations. Stonehill did not allow the Chargers to get on their usual run, as they took away all the momentum again. The Chargers got within four points of the Skyhawks at 18-14 and then again at 21-17 but they couldn’t get any closer. Stonehill controlled the whole set and ultimately won 25-17. Stonehill now led the match 2-1.

With their backs against the wall for the second game in a row, the Chargers got out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth set. The Skyhawks sensed the Chargers’ desperation and capitalized on all their mistakes. Stonehill tied the set up at 10 but the Chargers responded with three unanswered point forcing a Stonehill timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Chargers continued their dominance scoring point after point. New Haven got out to a 15-11 lead but allowed Stonehill back into it with five points of their own. With the score 22-20 in favor of the Chargers, New Haven scored three unanswered points to win the set 25-20.  

With Charger Nation on their feet at the Debbie Chin Court, New Haven and Stonehill entered the fifth and final set. The experienced and battle tested Chargers came out like the team we all know and love to start the fifth. This time it was the Chargers that forced a lot of Stonehill mistakes to get to an early 5-2 lead. The game changer came when senior Caroline Martins delivered a decapitating kill over the net to give the Chargers an 8-5 lead. Stonehill could not recover as the Chargers were able to win the set 15-13 and the match 3-2. Martins led the way for the Chargers with 15 kills, followed by Kali Greathead and Alex Bussey with 14 and 10 respectively.

The Chargers will now play for the NE-10 Championship on Saturday November 17 at 5 pm.          

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Women’s Volleyball Moves One Step Closer to NE-10 Title