Volleyball Downed by Kean in Home/NJAC Opener

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (9/13/11)  - Senior Tara Richey (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne) posted nine kills while sophomore Kaitlyn Hansen (Edison, NJ / Edison) added eight kills along with a pair of aces and four total blocks as Kean University swept Montclair State 3-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference opener for both teams at the Panzer Athletic Center on Tuesday evening. Kean won the match 25-16, 25-16 and 25-18.

Freshman Jennifer Espinal (Elizabeth, NJ / Elizabeth) had six kills, two aces and six digs for the Cougars (3-6, 1-0 NJAC), who snapped five-match losing streak against Montclair State with the win. Kean last defeated the Red Hawks on October 13, 2005 in Panzer Gymnasium.

Freshman Daniella Salemo (Ramsey, NJ / Ramsey) had nine kills and six digs for Montclair State, which dropped its seventh straight match as the Red Hawks fell to 3-7 on the year (0-1, NJAC).

In the opening set, Salemo gave MSU a 4-3 lead with a kill however, four straight errors by Montclair State gave Kean a 7-4 lead. The Cougars would widen the gap to 14-7 on an ace by Espinal and then led 18-10 as Aysia Peterson (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) knocked down a kill from Alana Aranjo (Newark, NJ / Science Park). The Red Hawks would get to 21-14 however Hansen closed out the first set with her third kill as Kean took the first set 25-16.

The second set was nearly a mirror image of the first as again Montclair held a 4-3 advantage. This time the match stayed closer and was tited at 7-7 when Kean took control. Aranjo set up Hansen for a kill to put the Cougars in front and Espinal served five straight points as Kean went up 13-7. Amanda Gonzalez (West New York, NJ / Memorial) had two kills in the run. Montclair State would battle back tying the match twice, including 14-14. But Richey answered with a kill and then combined on a block with Shannon Hood (Jersey City, NJ / St. Dominic Academy) as Kean took a 17-14 lead. Espinal made the score 19-15 with a kill and after MSU closed within 20-16, the Cougars captured the set by the identical 25-16 score as Montclair made five consecutive errors (one service, four attack).

With Hansen serving to open the third set, Richey had three kills in the first seven points as Kean jumped out to a 6-1 lead. The Red Hawks responded with a 7-2 run to tie the match at 8-8. The Cougars would retake the lead on an MSU service error and added two more points to go up 11-8. The two would remain within two points of each other until an MSU service error and ball-handling error gave Kean a 19-15 lead. A block by Montclair’s Sara Girgus (Green Brook, NJ / Watchung Hills) brought MSU within 21-17, however Hansen countered with a kill and served out the match as Aranjo, who finished with 23 assists, recorded her lone kill on match point as Kean won the third set, 25-18.

Hood and Gonzalez each had four kills apiece while libero Samantha Sacco (Park Ridge, NJ / Park Ridge) had a match-high 12 digs.

Setter Angela Campo (Washington Township, NJ / Westwood) had 17 assists for Montclair State with Alyssa Batiste (Manahawkin, NJ / Southern Regional) and Alyssa Willis (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany) each registering four kills. Sophomore libero Kaitlyn Irwin (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) had nine digs for the Red Hawks.

Both teams return to action on Friday with tournament play. Montclair State is at NYU-Polytechnic for the Jay Street Challenge. MSU will face Brooklyn College and NYU-Polytechnic on Friday, September 16 at 6:00 and 8:00 pm, respectively. Kean is home for its Cougar Classic as they take on Philadelphia Biblical and Southern Vernont in matches on Friday at Harwood Arena.