Abdelrazek earns victory No. 400 after Cardinals sweep Mariners
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – CUA Head Coach Nagy Abdelrazek earned his 400th career victory on Saturday after the Cardinals downed Merchant Marine Academy in straight sets. CUA breezed past the Mariners by scores of 25-11, 25-8 and 25-14 to improve to 13-2 on the season and give Abdelrazek the milestone win.
Abdelrazek, who has 11 20-win seasons under his belt, is well on his way to another after picking up win No. 13 of the 2011 season in grand style. He entered the year with 387 victories and is the first coach at CUA since Ross Natoli (baseball) in 2008 to register 400 career wins.
Abdelrazek described his emotions immediately following the match. "Right away my mind flashed back to my first-ever match at Catholic University, when we were playing in a tournament at Haverford. I would have never thought I'd go this far 19 years later."
He continued, "When you've been working with something that you love for this long, you don't even count the wins; you do it because you love doing it. The most pleasure I get from a win is seeing the looks on my players faces and seeing how much they enjoy it. That makes me happy."
Against Merchant Marine Academy Michaela Carroll handed out a team-high 34 assists for the Cardinals and she totaled ten digs, while Claudia Jean (18) and Kristina Purcell (13) were also in double figures in digs.
Jean led CUA in kills with 10, while Bridget Kulesh (9) and Tess O'Leary (7) were next in line.
The win allowed CUA to even its record at 1-1 in the Landmark Conference after the Cardinals suffered a 3-0 setback to Juniata earlier in the day on Saturday. CUA fell to the Eagles by scores of 25-20, 25-14 and 25-14.
"We started off well against Juniata," Abdelrazek said, "but they have a strong offense so give them credit for stepping up when they needed to. We learn something new in every match we play and I hope that we can continue to improve each time we go out there."
He added, "We recovered quickly for the second match even though there was quite a bit of time between when we first played. The girls really stepped up and played well, and afterwards, it was exciting to spend time with them and celebrate."
Carroll finished with 20 assists in the match as well as six digs, while Purcell (13) and Jean (12) were the team leaders in digs. Jean, Katie Chefalas and Molly Owens led the Cardinals in digs with six apiece and Isabel Eberstadt added seven digs.
On Sunday, Abdelrazek looks for victory No. 401 when CUA wraps up the first of two Landmark Conference round robin weekends against Goucher beginning at 10 a.m.