PITTSBURGH, PA. (September 21, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team wrapped up play at the Pitt Panther Invitational Saturday morning with a five-set win over Cornell (20-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-14, 15-10). Down 2-1, the Scarlet Knights rallied back to win the final two sets and finish the weekend with a 1-2 mark.
Sophomore defensive specialist Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) finished with a team-high 27 digs in the win. Schroeter received all-tournament team honors after racking up 69 digs over the weekend, including two 20-dig performances. The second-year Scarlet Knight has now recorded double-digit digs in 13 of RU’s 14 matches.
Three players finished with double-digit kills to lead the Scarlet Knights offensively. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) recorded a team-high 22 putdowns and added 21 digs for her sixth double-double of the season.
Junior right side Sofi Cucuz (Crown Point, Ind.) and junior middle blocker Rachel Andreassian (Fredericksburg, Texas) each notched 11 kills in the win. Andreassian added a team-high eight blocks.
Junior setter Nicole Bayer (Concord, Ohio) dished out 39 assists, adding eight digs and three blocks.
Senior defensive specialist Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) finished with 10 digs.
Cornell was led by Breanna Wong’s 15 kills.
The Scarlet Knights put on their best hitting performance of the match in the fourth set, when they hit .323. RU put down 12 attacks on 31 attempts, led by Lassa’s nine kills on nine attacks. The Big Red was limited to a -.032 hitting percentage in the fourth frame – their lowest of the match.
After dropping the first set, RU bounced back for a commanding 25-14 second-set win. The Scarlet Knights opened the stanza with a 10-1 lead and never looked back. Cornell wouldn’t go down without a fight, winning the following set by a three-point margin. With the score knotted at 14 in the third set, RU outscored the Big Red by a 5-1 margin to establish separation (20-15). Cornell came as close as two points late, but Rutgers held on for the win. In the fourth set, both teams exchanged points to begin play, before a 7-0 RU run gave the Scarlet Knights an 11-4 advantage. Rutgers led by as many as 12 points in the frame.
The final set was tightly contested until RU went on a 7-0 spurt midway through to break a tied score and go in front 13-6. The Big Red got within four at 14-10, but following an RU timeout Cornell committed a service error to seal the victory for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers returns to action on Friday, Sept. 27 for its second home contest of the 2013 campaign against Houston at 7 p.m. The game also marks the beginning of American Athletic Conference play for the Scarlet Knights.
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