By Derek Turner
The Blue Devils volleyball team dropped their first home conference match of the season Saturday with a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Robert Morris University.
With leads in every set and the largest margin of victory for RMU being four points in the first set, CCSU just let this one get away.
“It was a great match and I think we missed opportunities,” said Head Coach Linda Sagnelli. “I think we had opportunities in every single set to win that particular set and at crunch time we didn’t execute.”
The first set, like the entire match, was very close on the scoreboard, but CCSU led total attacks by nine. CCSU also had six additional errors which led to a four point run at the end of the set for Robert Morris en route to a 25-21 first set defeat.
“The passing was a little inconsistent, but then it picked back up again,” said Sagnelli.
The second set was more of the same hard-hitting volleyball with both teams recording 15 kills apiece. Again, CCSU had the advantage in the attack category, but couldn’t finish, making six errors.
The Blue Devils focused more on getting kills; Leader Emily Cochran had the opportunities to put the ball away, but she only recorded three kills in the set and eight on the day. CCSU dropped the second set 22-25.
The third set Robert Morris really took control. It didn’t seem that way if you were watching the scoreboard, but the intensity and hitting was definitely in their favor.
“We’re up 20-18 and then an unusual play happened which we should have handled, but we didn’t and it changed the momentum there and put them on a five-point run,” said Sagnelli after the 22-25 third set loss.
The Blue Devils offense did not get the job done in the third set, Sagnelli stated. In 36 opportunities, only 13 points were actually put on the board.
“It wasn’t what they were doing; it was what we were not doing when handling the ball,” said Sagnelli.
Freshman setter Makenna Lommori led the team with 33 assists on the day and her effort was noted by her coach as “phenomenal.”
Middle Blocker Rachel Dunlap led the team in kills with 10, followed by Cochran with eight. Both Blaike King and Rademacher each had seven.
Sagnelli knew Robert Morris was going to come out swinging led by outside hitter Lindsey Monger and opposite Amanda Craig; Her team just didn’t execute in “crunch-time.”
“This was a hard-hitting match. It was a lot of good defensive touches, a lot of good net play,” said Sagnelli. “We’ve got seniors on the court that have to make the execution and it just didn’t happen.”