NEWARK, DEL. (September 14, 2013) – In the final day of the Delaware Volleyball Invitational, Rutgers dropped two matches to Furman and Sacred Heart in four and five sets, respectively. RU captured a first-set win against the Paladins by a score of 25-19, but went on to drop the next three, 16-25, 19-25 and 23-25. Against Sacred Heart, RU won the first set (25-17), dropped the second and third by identical scores of 25-22, won the fourth by a score of 25-15 and lost the fifth, 15-13.
Sophomore outside hitter Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) led Rutgers on the day, with back-to-back double-digit kill performances to total 35. Lassa was named to the All-Tournament Team after compiling 59 kills, 41 digs, six blocks and four aces over the three games. In two matches, Lassa posted double-doubles.
Defensively, the Scarlet Knights were led by sophomore defensive specialist, Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.)¸who came up with 55 digs total in both games.
Despite the loss against Sacred Heart, Rutgers dominated the net with 21 total team blocks. Junior middle blocker Rachel Andreassian (Fredericksburg, Texas) recorded a staggering 12 total blocks, while sophomore setter Anna Sudbury (Tomahawk, Wis.) came right behind her with 11.
Against Furman, Lassa recorded her fifth double-double of the season (16 kills, 14 digs) and her fourth in as many games.
Junior opposite Sofi Cucuz (Crown Point, Ind.) also finished with double-digit kills in the match, tallying 15 on 35 attacks to finish at a .371 clip. Cucuz added a team-high four block assists.
In addition to Lassa, three other Scarlet Knights contributed double-digit dig efforts. Schroeter recorded a team-high 28, while junior setter Nicole Bayer (Concord, Ohio) added a career-high 20 and senior defensive specialist Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) finished with 12.
Bayer also distributed 24 assists for her first double-double of the year.
Freshman Dulce Duran (Austin, Texas) had a career-high eight kills in the match.
The Paladins were led by Andrea Fisher's double-double of 16 kills and 11 digs.
Rutgers opened the second day of play with a four-set loss to Furman. The Scarlet Knights started the match with a 25-19 win in the opening frame, after recording a match-best .250 hitting percentage. With the score tied at eight, RU formed a 9-1 run to go ahead 17-9. During that spurt, Duran put away four sets to record half of her kills in the contest. The Scarlet Knights maintained control en route to the six-point victory.
RU found itself down early in the following set and was unable to mount a rally to comeback from the early deficit. Rutgers bounced back in the following stanza and matched the Paladins point-for-point, until a 9-2 Furman run put the set out of reach. In the final set, RU was able to rally back from a five-point deficit at 16-11 by way of a 6-1 spurt to knot the game at 17. Four tied scores would follow, but with the score even at 23 the Paladins rattled off two straight to finish off the match.
Lassa led RU against Sacred Heart with 19 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs. The outside also added four blocks and three aces.
Schroeter finished with a team-high 27 digs, while Wright and sophomore defensive specialist Ronnie Komisarek (San Mateo, Calif.) added 16 and 11, respectively.
Sacred Heart was led by Sarah Krufka’s 15 kills. Kiki Robinson added a double-double of 46 assists and 10 digs.
Rutgers opened the second match of the day with a first-set win over Sacred Heart. RU began the frame with a commanding 9-3 advantage, but the Pioneers slowly chipped away at the deficit. A 9-4 SHU run made the score 13-12, still in the Scarlet Knights’ favor, but RU pulled away on an 8-1 run of their own to lead, 21-13. Rutgers allowed just four more points in the closing minutes before winning the set, 25-17.
The Scarlet Knights were down early in the following frame, but came back within three at 16-13 thanks to unforced errors by the Pioneers. Rutgers forged forward and knotted the score at 17, but was outscored 8-5 in the closing minutes to drop the decision.
The third set began as a tightly contested contest, before the Scarlet Knights went on an 8-2 spurt to take a 20-14 lead. Sacred Heart responded with their own 8-2 run to clean the slate and tie the set at 22. The Pioneers would score three more consecutive points to capture the come-from-behind win.
RU found itself trailing early on the start the fourth set, but the squad formed an impressive 18-3 run to take a 22-15 advantage and make the Pioneers burn their last timeout. Rutgers continued to score the final three points of the game to force a decisive fifth set. The Scarlet Knights took advantage of 11 Pioneer hitting errors to assist in the comeback. Lassa led Rutgers in the frame with four kills.
After trading points to open the fifth set, Rutgers pulled away with a 7-3 advantage following back-to-back aces by Bayer. RU maintained the lead, until the Pioneers evened the score at 11. Rutgers regained the lead on the following play, but SHU finished the match on a 4-1 run for the victory.
Rutgers returns to action on Friday, Sept. 20 as it heads to the Pittsburgh, Pa. for the Pittsburgh for the Pitt Panther Invitational. The Scarlet Knights will face Morehead State, Pittsburgh and Cornell in the tournament.