JERSEY CITY, NJ – University of New Jersey City Women’s Volleyball, which is ranked fourth and serves as the host institution of the 2022 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship, picked up a nice win from comeback today, Saturday November 12, in a five-set quarterfinal (17-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-21, 15-6) against the No. 5 seed FDU-Florham.
NJCU (17-11) started the day strong and took a 7-0 lead against the Devils (13-12) in the first set. However, FDU ended up taking the first set, 25-17, and went up one set to zero. The Gothic Knights regrouped between sets and started the second on a 10-4 run, which included points from six different players. Jersey City held the Devils at bay for the rest of the set and tied the game at one apiece after a fine 25-15 win.
Set number three continued to see even play from both sides and the teams eventually tied the game at the halfway mark at 14-14. FDU then won seven of the next eight points to take a 21-15 lead and eventually closed the set, 25-19, to take a 2-1 lead. Needing to win the next set to continue their season, the Gothic Knights found themselves trailing 9-6 at the start. However, a 10-3 run put them up 16-12 and again controlled the momentum – junior intermediate blocker Ashley Jimenez (West New York, NJ/Memorial) played a key role in that run with three straight service aces as part of his record four games that day.
However, the Devils responded right away and tied it at 17-17 with a 5-1 run. NJCU didn’t falter and fought back with six unanswered points to go up 23-17, including a pair of senior right side wins Paola Toledo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Colegio Catolico San Rafael) – she led all players with a record 19 afternoon decision wins. FDU managed to win four of the next five points to make it 24-21 in favor of NJCU, but the home side got another kill from Toledo to seal it at 25-21 and force a fifth set.
The final set of the day was never in doubt for Jersey City as the fourth-seeded Gothic Knights took a 12-4 lead to start, eventually ending the Devils 15-6 in fifth and 3- 2 in five sets for their third straight win over FDU in the past four seasons.
– Senior Libero Katrina Nguyendon (Union, NJ/Union) led all players with 21 digs to go with three aces.
– Junior setter Sydney Lore (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) delivered 48 career and game assists to go with three aces and another career-best mark with 19 digs. It was his fourth double-double of the season and the 10th of his career.
– Toledo finished with 10 digs for their fourth double-double of the season and fifth of their career.
– Second-year outside hitter Brenda Gonzalez (Union City, NJ/Dickinson) had the second highest number of kills of the day with 14.
– Second-year outside hitter Rachael Pharo (Manahawkin, NJ/Southern Region) was close to a double-double with 17 digs and eight kills.
After winning today’s quarterfinal game, the greens and golds advance to the semifinals tomorrow, Sunday, November 13, back at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (JMAC) . The Gothic Knights will take on New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival Kean University at 10:00 a.m. with a berth in the 2:00 p.m. championship game on the line.