Solid Hitting Helps Volleyball Sweep NJCU for Third Straight Win

Jersey City, NJ (9/24/09) - Montclair State University had three starters hit .500 or better and the Red Hawks collected a team percentage of .340 to claim a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-18) victory over New Jersey City University, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference match on Thursday night on Coach Charlie Brown Court at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center.

With the win, MSU remains unbeaten in the league, improving to 4-4 overall and 3-0 in the league. NJCU (3-9, 1-2 NJAC) drops its sixth straight match. MSU leads the all-time series, 18-8; the Gothic Knights had won six of the last seven meetings prior to the loss.

In defeat, NJCU sophomore outside hitter Tabitha Jordan (Bayonne, NJ/Memorial) contributed a match-high 11 kills and added 10 digs for her second career double-double. She equaled her career high with 11 kills in a match for the fourth time this season and distributed double-digits in digs for the third time in four matches. NJCU hit .162 as a team with 30 kills (30-13-105).

MSU had 41 kills and only nine errors in 94 attempts, led by senior outside hitter Karen Martin (Sicklerville, NJ/Washington Township) who had a team-high 10 kills and did not make an error (10-0-17) for a .588 percentage. She added 14 digs for a double-double.

Senior opposite Adrianne Moe (Rutherford, NJ/Rutherford) hit .500, landing eight kills without an error (8-0-16), while chipping in nine digs, three aces and two blocks. Senior middle blocker Anna Chesnakova (East Brunswick, NJ/East Brunswick) delivered a .545 attack percentage, totaling seven kills (7-1-111) and three blocks.

Also for MSU, senior middle blocker Kara Burnham (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) hit .389 with nine kills (9-2-18) and two aces and senior libero Meghan Stevens (Woodcliffe Lake, NJ/Pascack Hills) provided 12 digs. MSU received 19 assists and eight digs from sophomore setter Michelle Del Valle (Teaneck, NJ/Memorial). Sophomore setter Jenna Totaro (Secaucus, NJ/Secaucus) finished with 13 assists.

Also for NJCU, junior setter Alex Johanesen (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) dished 25 assists and added six digs and two aces. Senior outside hitter Melissa Loo (Rutherford, NJ/Rutherford) collected nine kills and hit .233 (9-2-30).

Freshman libero Amanda Dopico (West New York, NJ/Memorial) defended 11 digs and sophomore pposite Kiara Martinez (Newark, NJ/East Side) had nine digs.

In the opening set, MSU jumped out to a 6-0 lead and NJCU couldn’t draw closer than three points, before falling 25-12.

The second frame was tight throughout and MSU’s lead was twice cut to one late in the set, including 20-19, following a kill from Loo. But two errors by the Knights padded the Red Hawk lead, and Chesnakova sealed a 25-21 win with a kill.

In the third set, NJCU took a 10-6 lead and moved in front 14-11 on back-to-back winners by Jordan. But an 8-1 run by the Red Hawks gave the visitors a 19-15 margin. Martin had a pair of kills during the streak. An ace by NJCU freshman middle Brittany Erezuma (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) cut the MSU lead to 20-18, but the Hawks took control from there, with Burnham planting a key kill, and the Hawks capitalizing on several NJCU errors.