Nov. 20, 2008

Courtesy of New Haven Athletics

WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The University of New Haven women's volleyball team, seeded #1 in the East Region and playing host to the NCAA Division II East Regional, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Queens (N.Y.) College. The Chargers improve to 29-3 on the season and win their 24th consecutive match.

Queens ends its season with a 25-10 overall record.

New Haven used three separate three-point runs early in the first set to jump out to an 11-7 lead. After trading points until 18-15, the Chargers scored four straight points behind libero Katrina Ali's serving to take a 21-15 advantage. New Haven scored four of the next five points and put the set away on a kill by senior and Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year Rhe-Ann Niles.

The Chargers fell behind early in a very competitive second set. After being down 11-5, New Haven fought back to within one at 14-13 on a Queens' attack error. Queens gained a 20-17 advantage later in the set, but New Haven went on a three-point run to even the set at 20-20. The teams exchanged points until 23-23 when the Chargers got a kill be Niles to put them up one. A Queens attack error on the following point sealed set two for New Haven.

New Haven started fast in the final set, scoring eight of the first 10 points of the set behind the serving of senior Brittani Cotton. Queens rallied to within four at 11-7, but the Chargers kept their composure and extended their lead to 17-10 on a solo block by Niles. New Haven cruised from there, taking the set and match on a kill by freshman Elizabeth Akinbiyi.

The Chargers hit .276 for the match compared to .061 for Queens and held a 36-29 advantage in kills. New Haven totaled nine team blocks and 37 digs, while Queens recorded just one team block and 32 digs.

First Team All-Conference selection Charisse Cotton led New Haven with a match-high 11 kills, while Niles chipped in with 10 kills and seven blocks (two solo, five assist). Sophomore Sara Malmlov led the back row with a match-high 14 digs.

New Haven advances to the regional semifinals and play Georgian Court on Friday, November 21 at Charger Gymnasium. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. With a win in the semifinals, the Chargers would advance to the regional final against the winner of the (2) Dowling/(6) Bridgeport match on Saturday, November 22.