The College of Staten Island women’s volleyball team gave a valiant effort in font its home crowd in its Sports & Recreation Center opener tonight, but it wasn’t enough as the visiting St. Joseph’s College Eagles scored a 3-0 win.  After scoring 25-15 & 25-13 wins in the first two games, the Eagles held on to win a highly competitive third set by a 26-24 tally.  The win, the second straight for SJC, improved the squad to 2-4 while the Dolphins fell to a season-opening 0-3.

The Dolphins were neck-and-neck with the visitors in the first set, tying the game at 13-13 before SJC went on a pivotal rally.  Melissa Garibaldi then held serve, and didn’t relinquish until her own service error that made the score 22-14 in her team’s favor.  A couple of kills by Jessica DeMato highlighted the run, spoiling the Dolphins’ 10 kills in the opener on 26 attempts.

Unlike game one, the Eagles raced out to the early lead in game two and never did look back.  Ashley Larrea held service for nine straight Eagles points, helping the squad to a 12-2 lead.  A kill by Maricor Socorro-Calleja and a service ace by JeanMarie Lewandowski tried to get CSI back in the frame but by then SJC was well ahead.

The most spirited match came in the third frame.  The two teams jockeyed back and forth, as the Dolphins battled back from down 16-9, to finally earn a tie at 24-24 before SJC scored the final two points off of a kill by Larrea and a CSI attack error.  CSI frosh Jennifer Samuel led the Dolphins on a five-point run with her serve with her team down 21-16, a run that included two aces.

For the game, CSI was led by Socorro-Calleja’s seven kills on 17 attempts.  Samuel led the team with 9 assists, adding a pair of aces, while Danielle Ponsiglione spread out 11 digs.  The Eagles’ Larrea posted eight kills to lead her squad, also leading her squad with seven digs and seven service aces.  Megan Caiazzo posted 13 assists in the win.

CSI will return to action on Saturday when they open up their CUNYAC slate of games.  They will travel to Baruch College to take on Lehman College at 10am, followed by John Jay College at 12 Noon.