By Samip Delhiwala
The Brooklyn College women’s volleyball team went into Manhattan to compete in the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Tri-Match on Monday, and walked away with a win and a loss in the crucial doubleheader.
After being shut down in a 0-3 (18-25, 17-25, 15-25) loss to powerhouse Hunter College (17-3, 6-0 in conference), which leads the conference with the best overall and in conference record, the Bulldogs (13-8, 5-1 in conference) bounced back with a significant 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14) win against John Jay College (7-9, 4-2 in conference).
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first set after Michaela Appel and Pik Ka Tang recorded a kill each. After the Bloodhounds added two points of their own, BC went on a massive 8-0 run to take a 12-2 lead in the set. But John Jay recovered well, as Brittany Steele and Brianna Geraldo recorded a kill each to spark the Bloodhounds’ 5-0 run to cut the BC lead to 12-8. Both teams essentially exchanged runs until a kill by Sarina Rozek clinched the Bulldogs’ first set win.
The second set featured a similar start, with another 3-0 Bulldog lead that included a Tang kill. But a few minutes later, thanks to a kill by John Jay’s Mallou Berete and ball handling error by BC’s Kate Meltsin, the Bloodhounds took an early 7-5 lead. The Bulldogs responded ferociously with multiple service aces and three kills by Appel to take a 13-8 lead. Appel and Tang contributed even more to help their Bulldogs take a 20-12 lead, which was too much to overcome for the Bloodhounds.
In the third set, with both teams tied at 8-8, the Bloodhounds began to gain momentum in the match by taking a 12-9 lead on a Brianna Geraldo kill. Tang and Appel helped respond to cut the deficit to one, but costly attack errors and a few service aces put John Jay up 19-13. Later in the set, Rozek pitched in two kills while Jailene Paredes and Lucy Yazikova notched a kill each to cut the Bloodhounds’ lead to 22-20. But another costly attack error by Rozek made it 23-20, and Brittany Steele delivered two kills to win John Jay’s first set of the match.
The fourth and final set featured yet another neckand-neck start, with both teams tied at 14-14 as John Jay was attempting to tie the match at two sets apiece.
And that is exactly when the Bulldogs unleashed an offensive masterpiece in the form of a match-clinching 11-0 run.
Rozek gave her team a 15-14 lead with a kill, and then followed with a service ace. Yazikova added her own kill, while Rozek contributed with three more service aces. Appel delivered the final blow to the Bloodhounds with a kill of her own.
Appel led the Bulldogs with 21 kills, while Rozek had a well-rounded offensive performance of 16 kills, seven aces, and 11 digs.
Steele led the Bloodhounds with 16 kills and two aces, while contributing 14 digs as well.
The Bulldogs’ primary advantage on offense came from the ace disparity, as they recorded 17 aces while John Jay only had five.
The win moves BC up to second place in the CUNYAC standings, while John Jay drops to fourth. The Bulldogs trail only Hunter College in the standings.
BC will have the week to rest before traveling to the Rutgers-Camden TriMatch this Saturday, Oct. 14. The Bulldogs will face off against Rutgers-Camden at 12 p.m. before having a rematch with John Jay College at 2 p.m. in a non-CUNYAC designated match.