Strong Two-Way Effort Leads Volleyball Past USciences, 3-1

Volleyball player blocking.
Katie Asbery (13) had nine kiills and six blocks in a Sept. 22, 2018, home win over USciences. (Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University women's volleyball team recorded season highs of 51 kills and 12 service aces during its 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 18-25, 25-17) Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over the visiting University of the Sciences on Saturday afternoon at Job Gymnasium.

Felician (4-7, 3-3 CACC) defeated the Devils for just the second time, and the first occasion in a conference match, in 18 all-time meetings.

Freshman outside hitter Kahea Aea (Mililani, Hawaii/Kamehameha) paced the Golden Falcons with 14 kills, eight digs and three aces. Sophomore libero MaryGrace Puryear (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) totaled 25 digs, three assists and three aces. Freshman outside Bianca Galis (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) led USciences (3-9, 2-4) with 10 kills.

Set one featured five lead changes and seven ties, the final one at 16-16. Felician then took a three-point lead on kills by Jazlyn Pipkins (Paris, Texas/Paris) and Aea and a Puryear ace. A fortunate kill by Devil libero Rhiannon Comia (Roseville, Calif./Oakmont) ended the streak, but the Golden Falcons later put three more points on the board to lead, 22-18. Another three-point streak by the hosts at 22-19 ended the set.

Felician led, 13-6, in Set 2, before having to fight off a Devil comeback. The visitors closed to within 17-15 on a Brooke Witmer (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) kill. Ahead 18-16, the Golden Falcons captured six of the next seven rallies to pull away and set up set point. A Witmer kill gave USciences a brief reprieve, but Felician ended the set with a kill from Melissa Marte (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) to move ahead, 2-0.

The third set ended up being the opposite of the second. The Devils moved out in front, 11-6, only to see the hosts come back to a 14-12 deficit. Trailing by that same margin, 18-16, Felician committed a key service error, the first of four consecutive points for USciences. A block by Pipkins made it 23-18, but the Devils won the next two rallies to extend the match.

Felician trailed 12-11 in Set 4 before taking control with a 7-0 run. Aea and Baylei Furman (Kaneohe, Hawaii/Moanalua) had two kills apiece in the decisive spurt. The Devils later saved two match points until Marte and Pipkins teamed for a block to secure the victory.

Setters Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha) and Charlotte Greek (Menifee, Calif./Murrieta Mesa) guided the Golden Falcon offense to a .201 attack percentage. Gallagher turned in 27 assists and seven digs, and Greek added 16 assists and three blocks. Felician owned a 10-5 blocking advantage, led by nine kills and six blocks from sophomore Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani).

Freshman setter Caelin Jaskot (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) produced 30 assists and 12 digs for the Devils.

Felician plays its seventh home match of the last eight when it welcomes Dominican (N.Y.) College to Job Gym for a 7 p.m. start on Tuesday.