NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Christopher Newport captured its fourth consecutive NCAA regional crown as the Captains overcame a pair of deficits to upend Emory 3-2 (14-25, 26-24, 24-26, 25-11, 15-11) and advance in the NCAA tournament with a victory on Sunday.
Alyssa Kidd recorded a double-double with 52 assists and 13 digs to earn Most Outstanding Player honors. Bailey Jensen was just as dominant, blasting 17 kills while hitting .412. Abby Hogge also collected 22 digs. Jessie Kolden and Christie Fellows each fired 14 kills, while Chastity Lacy chipped in with 10 to go along with seven blocks.
With the victory, the Captains extended their winning streak to 31 consecutive matches and bumped their record to 39-2. The squad will now compete in the NCAA championship for the fourth consecutive season, opening up against UMass-Boston on November 15 in Holland, Mich.
After Emory took a two-to-one lead with a victory in the third frame. In the fourth set, Fellows posted a block and kill during the early going, while Brooke Moore’s serves kept the Eagles off-balance on the way to a 7-2 lead. Although Emory whistled for a timeout to break up the momentum, Christopher Newport kept its run going as Kolden unloaded three kills and Lacy notched a pair of blocks as the squad secured an 18-6 edge.
Following Emory’s second timeout, Fellows came through with two more kills before a blast by Jensen gave the team a 22-11 lead. After an Eagle error, Kolden took over and sealed the frame. Kolden earned a set-point before following the same script with another kill to even the match with a 25-12 victory in the fourth.
Harris and Jensen each had a pair of kills early in the fifth set, forcing Emory to use a timeout staring at an 8-4 deficit. The stoppage did little to stunt the CNU surge as Lacy came out of the break with another blast before Kidd dropped in one of her tips to give the hosts a 10-5 edge.
After the hosts capitalized on kills by Fellows and Jensen, the Eagles called for their final timeout with a 13-9 deficit. Once again, Kidd came to earn set-point. Two rallies later, the Captain setter dished a quick set to Jensen, who landed the final blow, which sealed the championship.
Harris finished the contest with nine kills. She also teamed with Kara Elder to post a strong effort on serve-receive as the two seniors converted 60 of their 62 attempts. Elder also chipped in with 10 digs, while Moore had 15 to go along with two aces.