Felician Women's Volleyball Captures Home Opener

(Photo of coach John Chang by Steven R. Smith)
(Photo of coach John Chang by Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University delivered a steady performance on both sides of the net in capturing a 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-18, 25-21) non-conference women's volleyball victory over visiting Assumption College on Saturday afternoon at Job Gymnasium. Felician (1-4) was playing in its 2018 home opener.

For the first time in the 15-year history of their program, the Golden Falcons defeated a member of the Northeast 10 Conference. Felician had been 0-33 all-time against current members of the perennial Division II power, including 0-4 versus the Greyhounds.

Freshman outside hitter Kahea Aea (Mililani, Hawaii/Kamehameha) paced a balanced Felician performance with nine kills, 15 digs and five assists. Classmate Melissa Marte (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) put down seven kills. Assumption sophomore outside Mary Campbell (Plainville, Mass./Bishop Feehan) topped all players with 11 kills.

The Golden Falcons took control early in Set 1, turning an 8-7 deficit into a 16-9 lead. Felician hit .229 for the set and held the Greyhounds to a negative attack percentage. The visitors flipped the script in the second set, evening the match by jumping out to a 10-3 edge and withstanding a late Felician charge.

During the pivotal third set, the hosts trailed, 13-12, before winning seven of the next eight rallies. Felician prevented Assumption from earning consecutive points for the balance of the set and went on to a 2-1 edge.

Set 4 was tied on seven occasions, the final time at 18-18. A Greyhound error and a kill by Aea gave Felician the opening it needed. Later, a Raamiah Edwards (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) kill followed by a service ace from Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani) put the Golden Falcons ahead 23-19. Moments later, Felician ended the match on the fourth block of the afternoon by Jazlyn Pipkins (Paris, Texas/Paris).

Edwards gave Felician a lift off the bench, recording five kills and two blocks in two sets. Freshman setter Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha) turned in 16 assists and 10 digs for Felician. Assumption (0-6) received eight kills, 13 digs and four aces from sophomore Ariana Orcera (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Marista).

Felician is in the midst of a stretch of seven home contests out of eight. It returns to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play when it hosts Caldwell University on Tuesday at 7 p.m.