SYRACUSE, N.Y. (September 7, 2013) – A thrilling five-set victory over Stony Brook concluded play for the Rutgers volleyball team at the Candlewood Suites Invitational on Saturday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights opened the day with a four-set loss to Colorado (15-25, 25-23, 20-25, 14-25) before rebounding with the 23-25, 26-24, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11 win over the Seawolves.
With the win over Stony Brook, the Scarlet Knights (3-4) improve to a perfect 3-0 against the New York school in the all-time series.
Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) led RU for the second straight day, totaling 36 kills and coming up with 30 digs. Lassa was integral to the Scarlet Knights’ win over Stony Brook, as she tallied her second double-double of the year with 26 kills and 21 digs. The outside also recorded four blocks against the Seawolves.
Lassa was named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts over the weekend.
Junior Sofi Cucuz (Crown Point, Ind.) tallied a season-high 13 kills in the win, while sophomore Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) also finished with double-digit kills (10). Sophomore Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) finished with a career-high 32 digs.
Stony Brook was led by Kaitlin Costello’s 14 putdowns. Rutgers limited the Seawolves to a .089 hitting percentage.
Cucuz led RU in the first set against Stony Brook, finishing with six kills on 11 attempts for a .545 hitting efficiency. After trailing early on, RU came within striking distance towards the end of the frame getting within two at 23-21 and later making it a one-point game at 24-23, but a kill by Stony Brook’s Kaitlin Costello closed out the set.
The Scarlet Knights opened the set second strong, controlling the flow of the game until late when Stony Brook formed a 4-0 run to take a 19-18 lead. The intensity remained high, but Lassa came through with late game heroics to close out the game for RU with back-to-back kills.
Rutgers went on to win the third set by its largest margin of the season (seven points), despite a tightly contested match from the Seawolves throughout. A 7-2 run to close out the frame proved to be the difference, paced by the serving of sophomore defensive specialist Ronnie Komisarek (San Mateo, Calif.). Lassa also aided the cause, contributing four kills during the spurt.
After dropping the fourth set by four points, the Scarlet Knights battled a determined Stony Brook team down to the wire. With the deciding set tied at 10, RU would forge forward and out-score the Seawolves 5-1 for the victory.
Rutgers opened the second day of play with a four-set loss to Colorado. The Scarlet Knights finished the match with 33 kills to the Buffs’ 48.
Lassa led the way with 10 kills and just missed a double-double, finishing with nine digs. Freshman Micaela Anderson (La Cañada, Calif.) finished second on the team with six putdowns.
Senior defensive specialist Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) led the way on the defensive end with a team-high 10 digs and added three aces. Sophomore Anna Sudbury (Tomahawk, Wis.) and junior Nicole Bayer (Concord, Ohio) handed out 13 and 16 assists, respectively.
Rutgers played well at the net, finishing with 11 total team blocks. Mikaela Matthews (San Diego, Calif.) had six blocks, while Cucuz and freshman Lauren Cloyd (Champaign, Ill.) turned down five attempts each.
The Scarlet Knights battled Colorado tight to open the first set, before the Buffs sealed the victory outscoring RU by a 14-6 margin for the win.
In the second frame, the teams were evenly matched until the Buffaloes began to pull away to lead 13-9. Rutgers soon put the pressure on and knotted the frame at 17. Two straight RU points, capped by a kill from Lassa, gave the Scarlet Knights a 19-17 advantage. Three tied scores occurred in the following moments, but two kills from Cloyd in the final minutes propelled RU to the win.
Rutgers opened the third set with a three-point lead, but Colorado came back to tie the game at 10. The teams exchanged points in the following plays until the Buffs pulled away to take the set by a five-point margin. The final set started in a similar fashion, before Colorado established separation mid-way through to finish the match.
The Scarlet Knights begin the home portion of the 2013 schedule this Wednesday, Sept. 11, as the team hosts former BIG EAST rival Seton Hall at the College Ave. Gym at 7 p.m.
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