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Owls volleyball sweeps opening tri-match to start off 2-0

Photo courtesy Southernctowls.com
Senior Megan Hiss (left) and junior Syriah Celestine (right) blocking an attempted spike by Molloy.

PAT LONGOBARDISports Writer

SCSU 3 – Dominican 1
The SCSU women’s volleyball team had to battle through a tough four sets in the season opener before finding their chemistry and winning.
Southern pulled the game out, three sets to one against Dominican College on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Pelz Gymnasium.
This was part of a season opening tri-match with Southern, Dominican and Molloy.
Southern won the match 25-20, 17-25, 25-20 and 25-23.
“I am proud of the effort,” head coach Lisa Barbaro said. “We are not as polished yet and we still have some kinks to work out.”
Junior Syriah Celestine and senior Megan Hiss each led the team with nine kills for Southern. Hiss also had three assists and nine digs. Senior Megan Lyons had eight kills and 15 digs. Junior Kimberly Lachowicz had 30 assists, six digs and four kills. Sophomore Sarah Beres had eight kills, six service aces and seven blocks.
Junior Courtney Heard led with 22 kills for the match with six digs for Dominican. Junior Whitney Ranger had 38 assists for the match, seven kills and 13 digs. Junior Jordyn Fuller had 28 digs and three assists. Junior Michelle Fiorvanti had 15 kills and nine digs.
Each set mainly started back and forth until one team went on runs that changed the momentum for that set.
In the first set, with the score tied at 14, Southern took a 20-14 lead with a 6-0 run that would propel their biggest lead of the set and an eventual win.
The second set saw Dominican jump out to an early lead. They carried that through to lock the game at one set apiece. With Dominican leading, 14-8, Southern answered with a 5-0 run, cutting the lead to 15-13.  Dominican later went on a 5-0 run, and received kills from Fiorvanti down the stretch that would wrap up the set.
In the third set, both Southern and Dominican traded points until Southern got the room they needed to control the set. Southern led 10-9 when they went on a 3-0 run to take a 13-9 lead. Dominican cut the lead to 15-13 when Southern would get big kills from Celestine, Lachowicz and Beres to extend their lead. Southern won the set after three consecutive points, including two straight kills by Celestine.
“For the first match, I think we played good,” Lyons said. “We were a little scrappy, but that is to be expected for the first match.”
The fourth set was full of runs by both teams in a tight set up until the end. With Dominican leading 16-14, Southern went on a 3-0 run to take a 17-16 lead.  Southern went on a 7-3 run to end the match. Dominican would later regain the lead 20-18 before Southern called a timeout. With Southern leading 24-23, Heard tried to make a kill to the Southern side. Beres and Hiss both blocked it, clinching the winner.
Lyons said the team has a lot to work on and there are many aspects with room for improvement.
“We need to encourage each other and the defense has more to work on,” Lyons said.
Dominican led the game total attacks (160-149), kills (53-46), assists (48-38) and digs (79-72). Southern led in blocks (12-8).
Dominican finished last season 16-17 overall, and 13-6 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). Southern finished last year with a 16-13 overall mark, and 7-8 in the Northeast-10 Conference, good for ninth place.

SCSU-3 Molloy-2

The SCSU women’s volleyball had to battle through a tough opponent during their season opening weekend, this time in a five set match.
Southern was able to pull it out and defeat Molloy College three sets to two on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Pelz Gymnasium.
Southern won the match 12-25, 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, and 15-9. This was part of a season opening tri-match with Southern, Dominican, and Molloy.
Southern had defeated Dominican College in the first game of the day, three sets to one.
“We came back in the second match and showed a lot of intensity,” senior Megan Lyons said.
“We worked very well together.”
Sophomore Sarah Beres led Southern (2-0) with 15 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Lauren McVey had 12 kills and 13 digs. Junior Vanessa Sullivan had 27 digs. Junior Kimberly Lachowicz had an outstanding 51 assists in the match and 13 digs.
Freshman Sam Berna led Molloy (0-2) with 11 kills and 24 digs. Junior Catherine Russini had 13 kills. Freshman Kerry MacDonald had 23 assists. Junior Jennifer Koelbel had 19 assists and 11 digs.
In the first set, Molloy came out firing after taking a quick 7-2 lead. Southern never really found their balance in the set, making errors and not capitalizing during plays. Southern would make nine attack errors in the set. Molloy later went on a 10-1 run to lead 21-8 – that would seal the set.
The second set saw Southern show off their team, taking an early 10-6 lead. Molloy cut the lead to 16-14 before the Owls went on a 7-0 run to lead 23-14, carrying them to the set. Southern contributed with 17 kills and 22 digs in the set.
The last three sets turned into a back and forth match with a fight for every point. In the third set, each team went on runs to give themselves breathing room. With Molloy leading 14-13 in the third set, Southern went on a 6-0 run to take a 19-14 lead. Molloy later cut the lead to 23-22, but Southern scored two points after a kill by McVey and an error on Molloy by Koebel to take the set.
In the fourth set, Molloy came back after Southern controlled the first part of the set. Southern took an early 11-8 lead before Molloy went on a 7-3 run to take a 17-15 lead. Southern cut the lead to 23-22 with three straight points. Molloy would score the last two points to take the set.
Molloy took the early lead in the set in the fifth set, but Southern came back to take control. Molloy led 8-7 when Southern scored seven of the last eight points to win the match. Senior Megan Hiss had multiple kills on that run, behind her 11 kills in the match.
Southern led the match in total attacks (181-170), kills (61-52), assists (56-47), digs (82-81) and blocks (16-12).
Molloy finished last season 8-24 overall and 2-10 in the East Coast Conference (ECC).
Molloy had lost to Dominican earlier in the day in game two, three sets to one.
Southern head coach Lisa Barbaro said the team needs to work on balancing out the floor better.
“We need to communicate,” Barbaro said. “We need to get trust from our floor balance.”
Barbaro said she was proud of the team’s efforts.
“Our returning starters showed leadership,” Barbaro said. “We played through the intensity and came back. The young people really helped us.”

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