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November 10, 2007

 

Dragons halted by Nazareth

HOBOKEN, N.J. — Though SUNY Cortland got off to a strong start in this NCAA Division III tournament regional semifinal test, soon its volleyball season would come to an abrupt ending.
Nazareth College defeated the Red Dragons 25-30, 30-25, 30-23, 32-30 on Friday afternoon, the victorious Golden Eagles moving on to tonight’s 7:30 p.m. regional final to face host Stevens Tech. It will be the third meeting this season between the two schools, Stevens Tech capturing the previous match-ups against the Golden Eagles.
Stevens Tech defeated Skidmore 30-22, 33-31, 30-27 in the other regional semifinal Friday.
Cortland, making its fifth straight NCAA appearance and 21st overall, finishes the season with a 32-11 record. The Red Dragons tied for 17th nationally for the second straight year.
Senior Kelsey Muka led the Red Dragons in the loss with 17 kills, 23 digs and three blocks. Sophomore Michelle Gaufman had 16 kills and 14 digs and junior Brittney Horton recorded 42 assists, eight digs and six kills.
Junior Tiffany Chatman added eight kills and four blocks and senior Alice Kahrs finished with six kills and three blocks. Senior Theresa Cole chipped in with five kills and 20 digs.
The Red Dragons registered a .484 team attack percentage (18 kills, three errors in 31 attempts) in the opening game, but finished the match hitting at just a .184 clip.
Nazareth (28-11) was paced by Laura Persico’s 21 kills and 16 digs. Katelynn Reed totaled 14 kills, six blocks and four aces and Carra Vanderstyne had 10 kills and three blocks. Kate Zwickl finished with 52 assists and nine digs.
In the opening game, Cortland used a 5-0 run, fueled by two Gaufman kills, to take a 12-7 lead. Nazareth eventually rallied to tie the game at 17-17, but kills by Horton and Gaufman gave the Red Dragons a 19-17 lead. Up 20-19, Cortland went on a decisive 5-0 run and never looked back.
Nazareth broke a 7-7 tie in the second game with five straight points, including two Persico kills. A kill and ace by Gaufman and two Muka kills, however, sparked a 6-0 run that gave the Red Dragons a 13-12 lead. Tied at 17-17 for the second straight game, the Golden Flyers this time took charge with a 5-0 run and never trailed again.
Nazareth took an early 7-3 lead in the third game, but Cortland fought back and tied the match at 9-9 and 10-10. Nazareth scored the next six points — five coming on four Cortland attack errors and a bad set — and led 16-10, but three Golden Flyer errors helped the Red Dragons move back within a point at 16-15. Nazareth responded with a 7-1 run to lead 23-16 and were never threatened.
The fourth game featured 12 ties, nine of which occurred with the score 21-21 or later. The Red Dragons took a 29-28 lead on a Horton kill, but an attack error tied the match at 29-29.
A Nazareth serving error gave Cortland another game point at 30-29, but an Elizabeth Tregan kill tied the match again. Reed’s kill put the Golden Flyers up 31-30 and a service ace by Hillary Adam, her eighth of the night and Nazareth’s 15th overall, ended the game and the match.
Stevens Tech 3, Skidmore 0: Melanie Volk had 14 kills and 12 digs for Stevens Tech (35-4), the Ducks setting a new school record for wins in a season.
Skidmore’s Thoroughbreds (30-10) were led by junior outside hitter Erica Duncan, who had 15 kills and 14 digs.