Championship Match Recap
Robert Morris, which did not even qualify for the Northeast Conference women’s volleyball tournament a year ago, emerged victorious Sunday afternoon in the NEC Championship, defeating host St. Francis (PA) in five games. Game scores were: 15-7, 15-11, 15-8. The Colonials will represent the NEC in the NCAA Tournament, which begins Thursday, Dec. 2.
The No. 1 Colonials, who needed five games to dispatch No. 4 Quinnipiac in Saturday’s semifinal, took care of the No. 3 Red Flash in just over an hour. Robert Morris was led by tournament Most Valuable Player JULIE SECTOR (Stow, OH/Stow), who posted 51 kills in two matches. Twelve of those kills came Sunday against the Red Flash. She also had a team-high 15 digs. MARYANN LISKA (Ausable Forks, NY/Plattsburgh) registered a match-high 19 kills against zero errors for a .576 hitting percentage. MICHELLE BARTLETT (Mansfield, OH/Madison Comprehensive), who set an NEC record Saturday against Quinnipiac with 75 assists, passed 44 more in Sunday’s
championship victory. Bartlett also dug 12 balls.
The No. 3 Red Flash, who fell considerably behind in each of the first two games, were led by junior TINA MILLER (Nazareth, PA/Notre Dame), who killed 19 balls and dug 15 more. Northeast Conference Player-of-the-Year MEGAN TALIAFERRO (New Cumberland, PA/Cedar Cliff) had seven kills. Setter JODI CRUSE (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop), who passed out 62 assists in the Red Flash’s semifinal win over UMBC, handed out 42 more in Sunday’s loss.
The Colonials improve to 19-14 overall as they head to the NCAA Tournament. St. Francis (PA) finishes the season 18-14.
Round 1/Semifinals Recap
St. Francis (PA) and Robert Morris each earned berths in the Northeast Conference Women’s Volleyball Championship Saturday by winning five-game semifinal matches. The championship will take place Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the DeGol Arena.
St. Francis (PA), the No. 3 seed in the tourney earned the first berth in the final, defeating No. 2 UMBC. Game scores were: 15-7, 15-13, 5-15, 8-15, 15-12. No. 1 Robert Morris played its way into the final by defeating No. 4 Quinnipiac. Game scores were: 15-12, 14-16, 15-7, 14-16, 15-13.
St. Francis got 21 kills from Northeast Conference Player of the Year MEGAN TALIAFERRO (New Cumberland, PA/Cedar Cliff) and a then Northeast Conference record 62 assists from JODI CRUSE (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop). UMBC was led by KARA WELNIAK (Omaha, NE/Marion) and JILL RIDING (San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch), who each registered 13 kills. St. Francis stormed out to a two games to none lead and appeared to have the match in check before UMBC came back and tied things up at two games each. It was very similar to their meeting earlier this season when the Red Flash jumped out to two-game lead only to lose in five. The Red Flash, however, held on this time and won in five.
Robert Morris setter MICHELLE BARTLETT (Mansfield, OH/Madison Comprehensive) broke Cruse’s mark in the Colonials’ win over the Braves. Bartlett passed out a new NEC record 75 assists. Thirty-nine of those assists went to JULIE SECTOR (Stow, OH/Stow), who led the Colonials offensively. The Braves were led by HEATHER WOLLYUNG (Lake Katrine, NY/Kingston), who killed 28 balls. The Braves would not go away and Robert Morris had trouble putting them away. After a dominant first game, the Colonials were up 14-2 in the second and could not finish the Braves, who ended up coming back to steal a 16-14 win.
Robert Morris and UMBC each had first-round byes by virtue of their seedings. St. Francis and Quinnipiac had to play quarterfinal matches earlier in the day. St. Francis defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in three games. Game scores were: 15-4, 15-6, 15-13. Quinnipiac defeated Wagner in three games as well. Game scores were: 15-8, 15-8, 17-15.