Volleyball Sweeps Past Manhattanville

Purchase, NY (9/27/08) – Montclair State University sophomore Devon Johnston (Moorestown, NJ / Moorestown) led all players with 14 kills and added 13 digs as the Red Hawks defeated the Valiants, 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 25-19), in non-conference women's volleyball action on Saturday afternoon at Kennedy Gymnasium. 

Johnson was the only player on either side to reach double figures in kills, doing so with a match-high .542 hitting percentage. Classmate Kristen Ruggieri (Hillsdale, NJ / Pascack Valley) also posted a double-double with a match-high 27 assists and 14 digs.

Junior Anna Chesnakova (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) had four kills and five total blocks as she set a new MSU career record in the category. Chesnakova moved past Jill Gastelu (1995-98) on the list as she now has 321 in her career.

As a team, Montclair State recorded 15 service aces, with juniors Christine Toskovich (Garfield, NJ / Garfield) and Meghan Stevens (Woodcliffe Lake, NJ / Pascack Hills) leading the way with six and five aces, respectively. For Manhattanville, freshman Makana Gomes (Honolulu, Hawaii) led the home team with six kills on .267 hitting and 16 digs. Junior Christa Nessel (Wilton, Conn.) and freshman Maggie Black (Seattle, Wash.) each added four kills, with Nessel also contributing nine digs.

 To begin the match, Manhattanville scored the first three points on the serve of freshman Xiu Carrasquillo (Neuburgh, N.Y.) and held a lead at 6-5 until Montclair State rattled off six straight points, thanks to four service aces by Toskovich in a five-point span. The gap stayed close for much of the game, as the Valiants were down by only one at 16-15 before the Red Hawks scored the final nine points on Johnston’s serve to go up a game. Montclair State had its best play of the afternoon in the middle frame, hitting .480 as a team in winning, 25-10. The visitors jumped out to a 6-2 lead and increased the advantage to 15-4 with Toskovich serving. Johnston took over from there, recording kills on five of the team’s last eight points to close the game. 

Manhattanville rebounded to play well in the third game, but the Red Hawks had too much firepower in the end to take the game and the match by a 25-19 score. The Valiants maintained a lead for the first half of the frame, holding their last lead of the match at 14-13 after a kill by Nessel. Montclair State took control with a 6-0 run, helped by three Stevens service aces, to earn a 19-14 advantage. The Valiants got to within three at 21-18 on a Gomes kill, but two kills by Johnson and a pair of Manhattanville errors ended the match.

Montclair State returns to action on Tuesday, September 30 as the Red Hawks return to the MSU Student Recreation Center to take on Rutgers-Newark at 7:00 pm