CUA tunes up for conference play with 3-1 win over Chargers
WASHINGTON – The CUA volleyball team played its final
match before Landmark Conference play begins as the Cardinals
downed Lancaster Bible 3-1 on Thursday evening. CUA took the
first two sets 27-25 and 25-14 before falling 22-25 in the third
set. The Cardinals then roared back and breezed through the
fourth set 25-8.
Bridget Kulesh had a terrific night for CUA with 16 kills, two aces and a pair of digs. In her first action in nearly three weeks, Kristina Purcell totaled 21 digs, one assist and one ace, while Claudia Jean registered 13 kills and ten digs.
Michaela Carroll totaled a team-high 36 assists for the Cardinals to go along with 11 digs, while Katie Chefalas recorded nine kills and five digs.
For Lancaster Bible, three different players totaled double-digit digs, including Hannah Fogle (12), Lauren Heliger (13) and Jenae Almas (10), while Brittney Becker recorded a team-best 11 assists. Hailee Growden and Heliger totaled double-digit kills with 12 and 10, respectively, and Growden recorded the lone Charger block on the night.
“This was by far the best match Bridget (Kulesh) has played for us,” Cardinals head coach Nagy Abdelrazek said afterwards. “Claudia (Jean) is starting to get healthy, Tina (Purcell) is back and Bridget had a strong night, so we’re coming together now.”
The first set went back and forth for the duration. Neither team was able to open up any sort of sizeable lead but the Cardinals were eventually able to outlast the Chargers with some strong play at the end. CUA won the set 27-25.
CUA then jumped out to a quick 9-1 lead in the second set and Lancaster Bible never threatened from there as the Cardinals went on to the 25-14 win.
In the third set the Cardinals led 5-1 early, but the Chargers came right back to tie things at five. Another point by the visitors gave Lancaster Bible a 6-5 lead, and soon after that, it was 10-7 in favor of the Chargers.
Lancaster Bible then stretched its lead to 17-12. After the Chargers extended to a 24-20 lead CUA called a timeout, but it was no to avail as Lancaster Bible won the ensuing point to secure the win at 25-22.
Unfazed, CUA returned to the court and unleashed all its fury on the Chargers. The Cardinals led 4-0 and 8-1 in the early going. The lead swelled to 10-3 before Lancaster Bible took a timeout to try and slow down CUA.
The break in action did little to stop the Cardinals as they upped their lead to 16-5. CUA continued to break away and eventually took the set 25-8.
“After the second game we tried some different lineups with a few of our reserves,” Abdelrazek said. “It was a good chance for those girls to get experience. They did some good things out there and it was great to then see us come back the way we did in the fourth set.”
CUA will return to action on Saturday when the Cardinals open conference play with a pair of matches on the campus of Susquehanna University. CUA will face off against Moravian at 3:30 and then take on Goucher, beginning at 6:00.
“We should be ok for the weekend,” Abdelrazek said. “We need to be more consistent with our setting, though. We’re trying to have our setters get the ball closer to the net; we did some of that towards the end of the match tonight, but if we can clean that up, we should be ok.”