Balanced Attack Pushes Volleyball Past Kean

Montclair, NJ (9/22/09) – Senior middle blocker Kara Burnham (Moorestown, NJ / Moorestown) posted 14 kills while classmate Karen Martin (Sicklerville, NJ / Washington Township) added 12 kills and 12 digs as Montclair State posted its second straight victory with a four-set triumph over Kean University in New Jersey Athletic Conference volleyball action at the Panzer Athletic Center on Tuesday evening.

Seniors Sam Karpinski (Hackensack, NJ / Hackensack) and Anna Chesnakova (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) each had nine kills as the Red Hawks moved to 3-4 overall, 2-0 in the NJAC with a 25-16, 25-17, 24-26, 25-22 victory.

Sophomore Jamie Sacco (Park Ridge, NJ / Park Ridge) had eight kills and 16 digs while Tara Richey (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne) chipped in with eight kills for the Cougars, who fell to 5-2 overall, 0-1 in the conference. The loss snapped Kean’s two-match winning streak.

Montclair State jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set as Karpinski, Martin and Adrianne Moe (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) each collected kills. Montclair would hold its four-point advantage throughout the set, before back-to back kills by Burnham and Alyssa Batiste (Manahawkin, NJ / Southern Regional) extended the lead to 20-14. Karpinski would add two more kills to get to set point for the Red Hawks and MSU went up 1-0 when Kean committed their sixth attack error of the set.  Martin had five kills in the opening set while Jenna Totaro (Secaucus, NJ / Secaucus) registered 10 assists.

Set two began just like the first with MSU winning five of the first six points. After Kean trimmed that back to 7-3, Karpinski and Burnham each had kills and Moe served up a pair of aces as the Red Hawks led 12-4. The Cougars again clawed back to within 14-11, however four straight attack errors helped Montclair push its lead back to 18-11. Chesnakova, who posted three kills in the second set, closed it out with a kill as Montclair State went up 2-0.

Set No. 3 was much closer and featured 13 ties and six lead changes. Richey, Sacco, Stefanie Santiago (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne) and Katie Schuh (Mount Holly, NJ / Rancocas Valley) each had three kills as the teams were never separated by more than three points at any point. Richey’s service ace gave Kean a 22-21 lead, but Karpinski responded for MSU knotting the game at 22-22. Schuh would get Kean to set point however Burnham countered for Montclair as the set was deadlocked at 24-24. Schuh would again come up big for the Cougars with her third kill and Kean closed the gap to 2-1 as Chesnakova’s attack attempt went wide.

The fourth set saw Montclair lead most of the way as the Red Hawks ked by as many as five at 19-14. Kean would slice that deficit down to a point as Colleen Masterson (Rahway, NJ / Roselle Catholic) collected a kill to make the score 22-21. But Martin would get a kills and an attack error on Kean gave MSU match point. The Cougars would fend off the first one, but Totaro’s kill ended the match giving MSU the 3-1 victory.

Totaro finished with 22 assists and six digs for MSU while Michelle Del Valle (Teaneck, NJ / Memorial) had 17. Libero Meghan Stevens (Woodcliff Lake, NJ / Pascack Hills) added 16 digs.  Moe also contributed three aces and six digs.

For Kean, Masterson had a match-high 23 assists to go along with seven digs. Danica Meade (Nutley, NJ / Nutley) and Santiago (five kills) each had seven digs while Schuh had three aces in addition to her four kills.

Both teams go right back into conference action on Thursday, September 24. Montclair State heads to the John J. Moore Athletic Center in Jersey City to take on the Gothic Knights of New Jersey City University. Meanwhile Kean is home at the Harwood Arena to face William Paterson. Both matches are scheduled for 7:00 pm.