The College of Staten Island women’s volleyball team served for a great cause tonight, but in the end the team was downed by visiting William Paterson University by a 3-0 count as part of non-conference play this evening.  Individual game scores were 25-14, 25-12, and 25-17.  The Dolphins fell to 6-7 overall, while the Pioneers advanced to 15-3.  Prior to and after the game, the Dolphins honored Matthew Valente, a former high school wrestler who now represents the Walk4 organization, which raises funds and awareness for spinal cord injury research and cures.

On the hardwood, the Pioneers ran up big leads early and never looked back in the opening two stanzas.  The Dolphins had a modest, 9-8 advantage in the first game, but a 9-3 run, catapulted by seven CSI attacking errors.  A Michelle Merida service ace clinched it later in the set.  In the second game, four straight kills by Daniella Salemo got WPU off to a 7-1 lead, and the Pioneers led comfortably the rest of the way.

Needing a lift, the team got it in the third game before a late WPU rally sealed it.  Kills by Selma Kolenovic, Pola Poskrobko and Siobhan Granich gave CSI a 6-3 lead, and after WPU grabbed back the lead, a big service ace by Brittany Minondo gave CSI another lead, this time 12-11 later in the frame.  A Salemo attack error and another ace, this time by Poskrobko, gave CSI another lead at 15-13.  From there, however, WPU raised their collective game, and proceeded on a 7-0 run, helped along by two Nicole Spicer kills.  CSI would close to within three, 20-17, but WPU earned the next five points to come away with the straight-set win.

Shauna VanDeRee led the way for WPU with 10 kills and 10 digs, followed by Erin Roach’s 9.  Alaina Clark had 12 assists and Spicer led with 4 aces.  For CSI, Kolenovic was the biggest offensive weapon with 7 kills followed by Granich’s six.  Minondo tallied 16 assists and a pair of aces, while Victoria Wong led the way defensively with 16 digs.

After the match, members of the volleyball squad gathered with Valente to create a footprint and tire tread canvas, which they will put on display, promoting the Walk4 effort.

CSI is back in action on Monday when they host a CUNYAC multimatch at the Sports & Recreation Center.  CSI will play at 10:00am against Baruch College, and again at 6pm against Medgar Evers College.  In-between and during, all other CUNYAC teams will be playing in both the Main Arena and Auxiliary Gym for a full day of volleyball action, equaling 9 matches in total.