Cardinals flying high after winning Crusader Classic championship

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – CUA concluded a terrific weekend on Sunday, winning two more matches over Penn State-Behrend and New Jersey City, to claim the Crusader Classic title.  CUA went a perfect 5-0 over the two days, including a win over Division II Pitt-Johnstown, and has now won 10 matches in a row.  Claudia Jean earned Tournament MVP honors, while Kristina Purcell joined her on the All-Tournament Team.

CUA began Sunday with a hard-fought five-set win over Penn State-Behrend.  The Cardinals dropped the first set 25-19, but roared back with a 25-21 win in set number-two.

CUA then went in front 2-1 with a 25-19 win in the third set, but PSU-Behrend forced a fifth and deciding set with a 25-21 win in the fourth set.

The Cardinals came out on top though, as they have done quite often recently, earning a 15-10 win in the deciding set.

Jean was quite impressive, posting a double-double with 17 kills and 25 digs, while Bridget Kulesh (14) and Katie Chefalas (10) also registered double-digit kills.

Purcell led the Cardinals in digs with 33, while Kulesh (17), Chefalas (15) and Mariana Cruz (12) were also in double figures.

Cruz led the way with 40 assists, and Audrey Bizak and Kelly Crimmins took care of the blocking, with four and three, respectively.

CUA then claimed its spot as the lone unbeaten team at the Crusader Classic, with a tidy 3-0 sweep of New Jersey City.  The Cardinals won by set scores of 25-18, 25-11 and 25-9.

Head Coach Nagy Abdelrazek was able to get a number of players onto the court for this one, including Fallon Foster, who handed out 22 assists, Kalen Backe, who totaled seven digs and five kills, and Jenny Bollet, who finished with six digs and two kills.

Purcell once again led the way in digs with 14, while Crimmins finished with a team-high 11 kills and a pair of blocks.

Jean was nearly unstoppable all weekend long on her way to winning the MVP award, totaling 42 kills and 85 digs in the five matches, good for an average of 2.62 kills and 5.31 digs per set.

Purcell did her part as well, finishing with 101 digs (5.32/set) and a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

CUA is back in action on Thursday evening when the Cardinals travel to face Hood College.  Start time is set for 7 p.m.

That precedes the second Landmark Conference weekend of action, which will take place October 13-14 in Bethlehem, Pa. on the campus of Moravain College.  CUA will face Merchant Marine and Juniata on Saturday, before closing things out against the host Greyhounds on Sunday.

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