September 3, 2010

Cardinals earn pair of wins in season opening tournament

HARRISONBURG, Va. – It was a great Friday evening for the CUA volleyball team as the Cardinals opened their 2010 season by sweeping a pair of matches at the EMU Invitational.  CUA downed Salem in straight sets 25-20, 25-21, and 25-13 in the opener before coming back to defeat host Eastern Mennonite 25-17, 25-16 and 25-21 in the nightcap.

In the day’s first match a number of Cardinals put forth strong performances vs. Salem, including Claudia Jean who totaled 21 digs, 12 kills and one ace, as well as Michaela Carroll who registered a team-high 20 assists to go along with ten digs.

Ines Zanotti added eight assists and Kristina Purcell contributed 18 digs and five aces.

Against Eastern Mennonite the match started out tight with the teams tied at six following an early kill by Carroll for CUA.  The teams then traded points before EMU reeled off three straight to go in front 10-7.  CUA battled back however and took the lead on Jean’s kill off an assist from Carroll to make the score 13-12 Cardinals.

CUA’s lead grew to 20-15 on Kelly Crimmins’ kill, and from there, the Cardinals scored five of the next seven points to earn the first set win, 25-17.

The second set started much like the first with the teams tied at five in the early going.  Eastern Mennonite momentarily took the lead at 9-8 on a CUA error, but from there the Cardinals took the match over, scoring seven straight to surge in front 16-8. 

EMU did not threaten the Cardinals the rest of the way as CUA cruised to a 25-16 victory in set number two. 

The Cardinals jumped out to a quick lead in the third set as Katie Chefalas recorded a kill and an ace sandwiched around an EMU error to make the score 5-1 early on.  Eastern Mennonite refused to go away though and the home team eventually tied things at eight.

From there CUA ripped off five straight points to take a 13-8 lead, but again EMU came back, this time knotting things at 15 on a Cardinals service error.  CUA won the next two points but Eastern Mennonite answered with three straight to take its first lead of the set at 18-17.

CUA then took a timeout to regroup and the short break was well worth it as the Cardinals responded with six straight points to go on top 23-18.  EMU made things interesting down the stretch, closing to within 24-21, but Carroll’s kill off another Jean assist ended the set and the match as CUA moved to 2-0.

The Cardinals will get right back to work on Saturday with another pair of matches at Eastern Mennonite.  First up is a date with Mary Baldwin at 1:00 followed by a match with Mary Washington beginning at 3:00.

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