Volleyball Sweeps Past Rowan

Montclair, NJ (9/16/08) – Junior middle blocker Kara Burnham (Moorestown, NJ / Moorestown) posted 15 kills in 20 attempts without and error while sophomore Devon Johnston (Moorestown, NJ / Moorestown) added 11 kills, four service aces and seven digs as Montclair State opened defense of its New Jersey Athletic Conference title with a three-set victory over Rowan at the MSU Student Recreation Center on Tuesday evening.

Junior setter Raisa Silva ( Newark, NJ / East Side) collected 38 assists as the Red Hawks recorded their second straight victory in moving to 6-3 on the season (1-0 in the NJAC). MSU won the match by scores of 25-14, 25-21, 25-19.

Alexis Louie ( Sewell, NJ / Washington Township) had eight kills and six digs for Rowan which fell to 4-5 overall (0-1 NJAC).

Montclair posted a .347 hitting percentage in the match as they committed just 10 errors in 95 attempts – four coming in the first set as Burham had six kills with Johnston collecting five. Tied at 4-4, Montclair would win 10 of the next 12 points which included a seven-point run. Burnham had consecutive kills to put MSU in front 6-4. After Rowan’s Chrissy McKay ( Paramus, NJ / Paramus) closed the gap to 7-6, Karen Martin ( Sicklerville, NJ / Washington Township) began the run with a kill and then served the next seven points as the Red Hawk lead grew to 14-6. Johnston and Burnham each had two kills in the spurt. A kill by Martin and ace by Johnston extended the lead to 20-9 before MSU finished off the first set as the Profs committed an attacking error.

In the second set, Martin served three straight points as the Red Hawks took a 9-4 lead. Three straight errors by Rowan allowed MSU to get up 14-7 and an ace by Johnston gave Montclair an eight-point advantage. The Profs would get back into the match as they whittled the lead to 23-20 behind two kills from Louie and a pair of errors by MSU. Junior Anna Chesnakova ( East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) put Montclair at set point and the Red Hawks went up 2-0 in the match as Louie’s service attempt went wide.

The third set would remain close as MSU took a 12-9 lead as Silva set up Johnston for a kill. A kill by Burnham got the lead to 15-11, but Rowan would come back as Karen Ramirez ( Bogota, NJ / Bogota) served three straight points. That combined with an MSU service error made the score 17-16 in favor of Montclair. But Rowan misfired on its service attempt, Silva served up an ace of her own and Meghan Stevens ( Woodcliffe Lake, NJ / Pascack Hills) collected a kill as the Red Hawks restored the lead to 21-16. Chesnakova, Martin and Christine Toskovich ( Garfield, NJ / Garfield) combined on a block to force match point where Johnston finished off the match with an ace.

Martin had six kills and seven digs while Chesnakova added four kills and five total blocks. Stevens led MSU with 17 digs.

Ramirez had six kills and six digs while Krista Hendrickson ( Cherry Hill, NJ / Summit), Chelsea Bowman ( Penns Grove, NJ / Salem County Christian Academy) and McKay each had five. McKay had 22 assists with Casey Roselle ( Sparta, NJ / Sparta) recording 15 digs.

Both teams return to action on Friday, September 19 in the same tournament as they head to York College, PA for the Best Western Westgate Invitational. Montclair will face Albright (7:00 pm) and host York (9:00 pm) while Rowan battles Arcadia (5:00 pm) and Lebanon Valley College (9:00 pm).