CUA upended by St. Mary's 3-0

WASHINGTON – CUA was upended by St. Mary’s on Wednesday evening by a 3-0 score inside DuFour Gymnasium.  The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead in the first set, but were unable to hold on, and eventually fell by a 25-23 score.  The Seahawks then won the next two sets 25-15 and 25-21.

“St. Mary’s is a good team,” CUA head coach Nagy Abdelrazek said afterwards.  “We had a chance to win the first game, but unfortunately our passing was not very good during the last few points and it cost us.” 

He continued, “If you lead by the amount of points we were up by and lose, it really takes a hit on your confidence. It’s tough to come back from that.”

The Cardinals were clicking on all cylinders in the early going of the first set, jumping out to a 7-0 lead.  CUA’s advantage eventually grew to 13-5 but from there the Seahawks ripped off 14 of the next 21 points to pull within one at 20-19.

The Cardinals scored the next two points to go in front 22-19 but the Seahawks rallied to tie things at 23 and then added two more points to win 25-23.

In set number two the score was close in the early going with St. Mary’s leading 9-6.  After the Seahawks extended to a 15-8 lead, the Cardinals called timeout.  Following the stoppage, St. Mary’s upped its lead to 20-14 and eventually came away with a 25-15 victory.

St. Mary’s then jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set and led 13-7 before CUA called another timeout to try and regroup.  The Cardinals were able to close within 21-17, and soon after they got even closer at 23-21.  The Seahawks were able to hang on though, as they emerged 25-21.

Claudia Jean registered a double-double for the Cardinals with 15 kills and 14 digs, while Kristina Purcell was also in double figures in digs with 12.  Michaela Carroll was the team leader in assists with 30 and Bridget Kulesh added 10 kills.

Katie Chefalas totaled eight digs and three kills and Katrina Baccetti and Kulesh contributed three and two assisted blocks, respectively.

For St. Mary’s, Katie Obal totaled 26 assists, while Claire Kodan was the team leader in kills with 11.  Bianca Livioco led in digs with 13 and as a team the Seahawks registered ten blocks.

“Losing the first game really affected us tonight,” Abdelrazek said.  “St. Mary’s has a good defense, but we didn’t adjust to it.”

He went onto add, “This is a good matchup for us.  We enjoying playing good teams like St. Mary’s.  We just have to understand that we can compete with a team like this.  We need to improve our passing and our defense. Those are going to be two areas we concentrate on.” 

The Cardinals will be back in action this weekend beginning on Friday when they take on North Carolina Wesleyan and Emory & Henry at a tournament on the campus of Gallaudet University.  The matches are slated for 2:00 and 8:00 PM, respectively.

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