WEST HAVEN, Conn. — New Haven claimed Friday night’s NCAA East Regional semifinal match in three sets against Northeast-10 rival Adelphi. The Chargers defeated the NE-10 champions 3-0 by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-22. With the victory, New Haven improves to 23-6 overall and advances to the East Region championship. The loss concludes Adelphi’s season at 23-8.
The Chargers were in control most of the way and only trailed 10 times throughout the course of the match. They set the tempo right away with a strong showing in the first set as New Haven connected on 18 kills with just three errors for a .577 hitting percentage. New Haven had a well-balanced offensive attack throughout the night, as they finished with a .312 hitting percentage compared to the Panthers .102.
The second set began much like the first as both teams went back and forth early on. With the score tied, 7-7, New Haven rallied for six of the next seven points to go ahead 13-8. The remainder of the set was all Chargers as a kill by senior Chelsey Alpough clinched New Haven 25-19 advantage.
The third and final set was easily the most competitive. Trailing 20-19, the Panthers rallied off two consecutive points to take the lead. However, a kill from sophomore Amber Cannady, followed by two Adelphi attack errors gave New Haven the set and match, 25-22.
Freshman Kristy Atufunwa led all Chargers with nine kills and one error on 12 total attacks for a .667 hitting percentage. Junior Keidy Candelaria, was right behind her with eight kills while freshman Kaulana Ane tallied seven and Cannady added six. Alpough dished out a match-high 33 assists and senior Heather Ladao led the team defensively with 10 digs.