Nov. 13, 2010

Courtesy of Stevens Tech

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Junior Amethyst Holder notched a match-best 18 kills and 17 digs as the Stevens Institute of Technology womens volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-21, 16-25, 25-22, 25-15) victory over the United States Coast Guard Academy in the second round of the NCAA Tournament hosted by New York University.

Sophomore Maggie Kowalska added 13 kills, while fellow sophomore Michelle Plotzker added 10 kills and four digs. Senior Maggie Majcher and freshman Chrissy Dickinson each added seven kills, with Majcher also recording a team-high 19 digs. Senior Julia Reilly and Brittany Conroy finished with 18 and 14 digs, respectively, while senior setter Sara Budar notched 40 assists.

Junior outside hitter Nicole Johnson (New Braunfels, Texas) and sophomore Catherine Walker (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) led the Bears with 16 kills apiece, while sophomore Lauren Bloch (Centennial Colo.) added 11 kills. Sophomore setter Karen Matic (Oswego,Ill.) added a team-high 46 assists and 22 digs in the loss.

With the win, the Ducks - winners of 23 of their last 24 matches and 34-5 overall on the season - will next face the winner of top-seeded New York University and fourth-seeded Clarkson University in the New York Regional final scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 14.

Set 1: Stevens 25, Coast Guard 21
Stevens raced out to a 4-1 edge in the first set, capped off by a Kowalska kill. Coast Guard responded by tallying three of the sets next five points, pulling within two on a Walker spike. The Ducks answered by mounting a 6-3 run of their own, going up 12-6 on a Budar service ace that forced a Coast Guard timeout.

Following the break, the Bears battled back within two at 15-13, before a Holder kill kicked-off a 5-1 Ducks rally. Up 22-19, Holder notched another spike to put Stevens up four. Trailing 24-21, Matic hammered home a spike to pull Coast Guard within three, but Holder again came up big, notching yet another tally to secure the Ducks first set victory.

Set 2: Coast Guard 25, Stevens 16
Hoping to knot the match at a set a piece, the Bears raced to a 5-1 lead to start the second, taking a four-point advantage on back-to-back Johnson kills. Still up four at 10-6, Coast Guard reeled off three-straight points, upping the lead to seven on a Bloch spike.

Plotzker pulled the Ducks within three at 14-11 before Holder found another crease in the Bears defense to make it a two-point set. Bloch responded by notching a kill of her own, spurring a quick 3-0 run that gave Coast Guard a four-point cushion.

Johnson later put away a spike that increased the lead to 20-15 as the Bears outscored their Ducks counterparts, 5-1 down the stretch to even the match.

Set 3: Stevens 25, Coast Guard 22
Tied at five after a Kowalska kill, The Ducks went on a 4-1 run, taking a three-point advantage on a Coast Guard attack error. The Bears battled back, pulling within one at 12-11, but Plotzker and Holder responded with back-to-back kills to again make it a three-point lead.

Continuing to battle, Coast Guard pulled within one at 16-15 before a 5-0 Ducks rally - capped off by Dickinson kill - gave Stevens a six-point cushion. Still down six at 24-18 after another Dickinson kill, Bloch kicked off a 3-0 Coast Guard run that made it 24-21, but Plotzker eventually put the match away with a set-clinching spike.

Set 4: Stevens 25, Coast Guard 15
With the set knotted at four, the Ducks rattled off four-consecutive points to take a four-point edge on a Kowalska kill. Still up four at 14-10, Stevens again reeled off four-straight points, going up eight on back-to-back Coast Guard attack errors.

Johnson pulled the Bears within six at 20-14, but a 5-1 Ducks run to close out the set sealed the victory, securing a 3-1 Stevens match victory.