RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In a tenaciously defended match by both sides, Concordia (N.Y.) College erased a two-set deficit to earn a 3-2 (21-25, 29-31, 25-17, 25-18, 15-12) Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's volleyball victory over host Felician University on Tuesday night at Job Gymnasium.
Felician (2-10, 1-6 CACC) set a program record with 107 digs, but that total was not enough to match the Clippers, who dug up 116 balls on the night. The Golden Falcons' 223 total attacks established another school mark, and the 71 individual total attacks by junior outside hitter Paulina Calero (El Centro, Calif./Southwest) matched a Felician record first set by Amber Doran in 2009.
Calero led all players in the match with 22 kills and added 19 digs. Felician sophomore setter Charlotte Greek (Menifee, Calif./Murrieta Mesa) totaled 41 assists and 20 digs. Concordia (1-7, 1-6) received 19 kills and 26 digs from sophomore opposite hitter Tatienne Tugade-Sua (Kalihi, Hawaii/Saint Francis).
The teams traded runs of points throughout the evening. Felician trailed by as much as 15-9 in Set 1, only to even the score at 16-16. The Golden Falcons were down, 21-19 after a Jenny Martin (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley) service ace, but claimed the next six rallies and won the set.
The hosts appeared to have captured momentum after winning their longest set of the season by points, surviving seven lead changes and 16 ties in Set 2. Felician went on a 9-0 run for a 15-10 lead, but the Clippers bounced back to 18-18.
Following consecutive kills by the Golden Falcons' Baylei Furman (Kaneohe, Hawaii/Moanalua) and Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani) which put their team ahead, 22-21, the teams traded side-outs all the way to 27-27. Concordia saved four set points and Felician fought back two. With Felician trailing, 29-28, a Calero kill was sandwiched by two from Asbery to give the Golden Falcons the 2-0 lead in the match.
But the momentum was short-lived. Concordia jumped out to a 10-3 lead in Set 3 and emerged victorious, and erased Felician edges of 5-0, 14-12, and 16-15 in Set 4, scoring nine of the set's final 11 points to draw even in the match.
The deciding set was tied nine times and saw the lead change hands on five occasions. Felician was ahead, 8-6, but the Clippers scored the first four points after the changeover. With the set even, 11-11, a pair of Golden Falcon attack errors put the visitors ahead for good. A Concordia error cut its lead to 13-12, but kills by Martin and Thalia Hoyos (Caguas, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame) ended the match two hours, eight minutes after the first serve.
Concordia libero Alana Rousset-Hernandez (Canovanas, Puerto Rico/Carvin) had a match-high 33 digs. Hoyos amassed 17 kills and 25 digs, and Martin finished with seven kills, 45 assists, 10 digs and four aces.
Asbery put down 13 kills and four blocks for Felician. Libero Lauren Mack (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) came up with 23 digs and defensive specialist Amanda Coccia (Rahway, N.J./Roselle Catholic) added 16.
Felician is in the midst of a stretch of six out of seven matches at home. The Golden Falcons host Post University in CACC action at 7 p.m. on Friday.