The College of Staten Island women’s volleyball squad pushed back on an even Saturday, with a perfect Sunday at New Jersey City University as part of the NJCU November Invitational Tournament, taking home the tournament championship thanks to a pair of wins over City College of New York (3-1) and the home Gothic Knights in the Final (3-1). With the pair of wins, CSI improved to 11-13 overall in their final games before the CUNYAC Tournament on Tuesday.
To get to the Championship Final of the tournament, CSI needed a win over CCNY, and they got it in the first matchup. CSI won the opener, 25-9, and after CCNY got even with a 25-20 win in game two, CSI won the final two in the match by identical 25-14 scores. The win avenged a 3-1 loss to the Beavers earlier this season as part of CUNYAC play.
CSI raced out to a 9-0 lead in the opening game, powered by three Brittany Minondo service aces. Later, CSI advanced to 17-4 helped along by a Selma Kolenovic kill. In the second frame, CCNY got even helped along by seven CSI kill errors. The Dolphins, however, looked much stronger in the third and fourth games.
Again CSI got off to a fast start in the third fame with another three Minondo aces. CCNY caught up to make it 13-11, but from there it was all CSI as they closed on a 12-3 run, which included another two Kolenovic kills. The Dolphins got off to a 9-2 lead in game four as Victoria Wong poured in a pair of aces. Kolenovic had three more kills down the stretch, as did Pola Poskrobko.
CSI was led by Kolenovic’s eight kills and 10 digs while Minondo finished with eight aces.
With an NJCU win over John Jay, it set up for a CSI-NJCU final. The Gothic Knights stormed by CSI just yesterday, but today it was CSI that would return the favor. NJCU won the opener, 25-22, but then CSI responded with a gritty, 29-27, win in the second game en route to winning games three and four, 25-11, and 25-18, respectively.
Three lead changes highlighted the opening stanza. It was CSI that controlled for most of the way, building a 13-7 lead on four straight Wong aces. But NJCU began to chip away, and used a 12-4 run spearheaded by two Jade Medley kills, who finished with over 1,000 for her career.
CSI got even in a game two that featured five lead changes. CSI again raced out to a nice lead, 10-4, thanks to four straight Poskrobko aces, but again NJCU began to chip away, eventually taking a 14-13 lead on a Marissa Carpa ace. NJCU was off and running, taking a 22-16 lead, but then CSI returned the favor. Two Poskrobko kills in a row tied the game at 24-24, and from there, defended two NJCU game-point situations by winning side-out. A NJCU error gave CSI a 28-27, and Siobhan Granich followed with a kill to give CSI the big, 29-27, victory.
That fueled CSI from there and the Dolphins hardly looked back. CSI opened up a 10-1 lead in the third set and went on to roll, 25-11, and in the fourth set, Minondo scattered five aces to help CSI get out a monster 13-1 lead before ultimately prevailing, 25-18.
CSI got 15 kills from Poskrobko and 12 each from Kolenovic and Granich. Poskrobko added 10 of CSI’s 22 service aces, also leading the squad with 14 digs.
Poskrobko was named to the All-Tournament team, as were Selma Kolenovic and Victoria Wong.
The wins today sees CSI finish with an 11-13 overall record heading into the CUNYAC Postseason Championship Tournament that begins Tuesday as part of quarterfinal play. The Dolphins have earned the No. 6 seed, and will travel to face No. 3 Lehman College at 7pm at The Apex in the Bronx.