It came down to a pair of close sets, but in the end it was Cairn University taking a straight-set win over visiting College of Staten Island in Langhorne, PA, 3-0. Individual scores were 25-12, 25-21, and 25-23. Cairn, winners of two in a row, extended to 2-3, while the Dolphins fell to 1-4.
The first set saw Cairn take full control, using an 8-0 run to take an early 10-5 lead powered by two Haley Sheehan kills. Three more Sheehan kills helped put CSI away 25-12.
The Dolphins were much sharper in the second set. After falling behind early, CSI used a 6-1 run to take an 11-10 lead, fueled by a Caitlin Esposito kill. Later, a Vanessa Reyes ace closed the lead to 21-20, but four errors by the Dolphins sealed their fate in the 25-21 set.
In the final set, CSI fell behind early, 4-0, but came back to take an 11-10 lead thanks to kills by Margaret O’Malley-Rebovich and Reyes. CSI’s last lead came at 18-17, but then three CSI errors saw them fall behind again. Down 24-21, CSI started to rally with an Ashley Notaro kill, but a returned kill by Lyntia Gwess iced the game and gave the Highlanders the 25-23 edge.
Gwess led all with 10 kills along with Sheehan, who also led in digs with 16. Gwess added four aces in the win. CSI was paced by Esposito’s seven kills, and she also posted three aces and a team best 14 digs.
Up next for CSI will be their home opener on Thursday evening against Hunter College at the Sports & Recreation Center at 7pm.