CALDWELL, N.J. – The Felician University women's volleyball team suffered its second loss of the season to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference North Division foe Caldwell University on Tuesday night, dropping a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19) league decision to the host Cougars at the George R. Newman Center.
Felician (5-14, 4-8 CACC) remained a half-game ahead of Bloomfield College for the fourth and final playoff spot from the CACC North. The Golden Falcons have seven league matches remaining, including a home tilt against Bloomfield on Oct. 20.
Caldwell freshman outside hitter Elise Smith (O'Fallon, Ill.) hit .500 on the night and led all players with 11 kills. Junior Raamiah Edwards (Bloomfield, N.J.) topped the Golden Falcons with five kills.
The Cougars (8-14, 7-5) produced 10 service aces, led by six from sophomore defensive specialist Alejandra Leal Montes (Gurabo, Puerto Rico). Caldwell hit .234 in the match while holding Felician to an attack percentage of .068.
An early 5-0 Set 1 spurt allowed the hosts to open a 9-3 lead. Caldwell was still ahead by that margin at 18-12 before a Felician error and a kill by Smith put the Cougars ahead by eight. The Golden Falcons took advantage of some Caldwell sloppiness to get back within 22-18, but the teams alternated points thereafter to allow the Cougars to win the set.
Set 2 was even at 11-11 following consecutive dumps by Felician setter Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii). But Caldwell took control from there, claiming 10 of the next 11 rallies to pull away. Cougar junior Katie Compagno (Orland Park, Ill.) garnered two blocks and a kill in the decisive run.
Felician recovered from a 5-0 third-set deficit to move ahead, 10-9. The set was tied as late at 14-14, but three consecutive Montes aces capped a run off five points by the Cougars which gave them the lead for good.
Caldwell setter Samantha Ashton (Colonia, N.J.) finished with 22 assists and five digs. Gallagher, meanwhile, totaled 10 assists and seven digs.
Felician attempts to snap a seven-match losing streak when it hosts a tri-match with the Jefferson Rams and The Lincoln (Pa.) University during its Homecoming festivities on Saturday. Its CACC match against Jefferson begins at 11 a.m.