By Kenny Barto
The CCSU volleyball team lost just one set in two weekend games, adding two important conference victories to its season.
On Saturday, the Blue Devils (14-7, 6-2 NEC) dominated Fairleigh Dickinson (14-7, 4-3 NEC) beating the team in straight sets 25-23, 25-12, and 25-16.
“I thought on Saturday, we had good rhythym,” head coach Linda Sagnelli said. “We passed the ball well, and we were able to work as a team to beat them in straight sets.”
The Knights never hit over .100 for their hitting percentage during the match. In set number two, they hit -.026, with nine kills and ten errors on 38 attempts.
Sunday’s action brought on St. Francis (N.Y.), a team that FDU beat in straight sets. Although CCSU came off a strong showing against a decent team in FDU, the Blue Devils didn’t seem to have the fire that they had just 24 hours prior.
“We seem to struggle through the match,” Sagnelli said. “We never seemed to find the right rhythm, and our goal is to create our rhythm.”
The last place Terriers (1-24, 0-9 NEC) put up a decent fight in the first set, falling short 25-18. The Blue Devils then bounced back, and seemed to be on the way to a sweep with a 25-13 win in set number two.
St. Francis (N.Y.) had not won a set in five straight games, the last coming against the second-to-last place Quinnipiac on Oct. 1 when the team lost 3-2 against the Bobcats. The Terriers have only won 11 sets in 25 games. While it was obvious that the Terriers were not at CCSU’s level of play, but, they were able to beat the Blue Devils in set three 25-21. The Terrier hitting percentage was .306, while holding the Blue Devils to .161.
“It’s focus, it really is,” Sagnelli. “Some of it depends on the servers your facing. Sometimes we have trouble with just one kid, in the end it’s just focus.”
The Blue Devils redeemed themselves in the fourth set winning easily, 25-16. Despite the team’s struggles, Sagnelli was sure of one thing.
“Emily [Cochran] was by far the most determined player on the court today,” Sagnelli said. “She was able to fight through some sloppy points, and put the ball down when we needed to put the ball down.”
Cochran finished with a team high 18 kills and finished second in digs, with 12. It seemed that time after time, the setters went to Cochran in favor of the other hitters on the court.
“We could have controlled the better off of the first pass,” said Sagnelli. “I think our passing was really up and down, which made things really difficult today.”
The closest calls in the match seemed to go to the Blue Devils, but St. Francis fought back regardless. After the victory in the third set, some players on the Terriers’ bench were heard saying, “Really, we won?”
“A lot of credit goes to St. Francis,” Sagnelli said. “They really fought and scrapped on every ball, they definitely went after it today.”
The Blue Devils will hit the road, traveling to Sacred Heart and Bryant on Saturday and Sunday. The Pioneers sit in first place with a 7-1 conference record, while the Bulldogs sit in sixth place with a 3-6 record.