Christopher Newport rallies to defeat UMass-Boston 3-1 in quarterfinals
HOLLAND, Mich. -- Christopher Newport advanced to the semifinals for the second season in a row as CNU overcame an early deficit to storm past UMass-Boston 3-1 (22-25, 25-9, 25-17, 25-18) at the DeVos Fieldhouse on Thursday .
Cory Harris led the charge with an incredible effort, unloading a match-high 16 kills to go along with eight digs and a pair of blocks. Christie Fellows also had 13 kills at a .407 clip, while Bailey Jensen and Jessie Kolden each had 12 kills. Alyssa Kidd helped balance out the offense, notching 49 assists.
On the defensive end, Abby Hogge had 24 digs and bumped her season-total to 655, which broke the program record that she set last season. Chastity Lacy was a force along the net as well, collecting seven blocks.
With the victory, CNU extended its school-record winning streak to 32 and moved its overall record to a program-best 40-2. The Captains advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament, which will be held on Friday.
After struggling to find its rhythm in the first set, CNU took charge early in the second. Although the squad dropped the first three rallies, Jensen shot back with three kills to even the frame at four. Later, Kolden took control of the attack, lacing four kills in the span of seven rallies to lead the squad to a 10-6 advantage. After UMass-Boston snapped the streak, Christopher Newport ripped off five consecutive kills, including a shot by Harris off the Beacon block, to stretch its edge to 15-7.
Continuing its run, CNU picked up a kill and block by Harris before Lacy added another kill as she obliterated a shot that ricocheted off the Beacon defense and landed deep on the opposition's bench. Leading 22-9, Harris put an end to the set as she led off with two more kills to seal the 25-9 victory.
Back on even ground in the match, CNU pulled out to a modest lead in the third behind Brooke Moore. Keeping the Beacons off-balance with perfectly-placed kills, she led the Captains on a six-point run, highlighted by a pair of aces. Leading 6-2 following a UMass-Boston timeout, Christopher Newport's front line took over. Lacy teamed with Kidd and Kolden on a pair of blocks before also adding a kill on the way to a 15-9 advantage.
With a six-point lead, Harris put on a show during a personal three-point streak. Sprinting all over the court, she made a dig on a hot-shot towards the line before capping off the rally with a blast. Putting the punctuation mark on the run, she teamed with Lacy on a block that led to a 19-9 advantage and a Beacon timeout.
Following the stoppage, the Captains eased into the victory. Fellows chipped in with two kills, while Lacy and Jensen each added one on the way to set point at 24-14. Although UMass-Boston held on for a few rallies, Kolden eventually finished things off with a shot that iced a 25-17 win.
CNU battled back-and-forth with the Beacons during the early part of the fourth. Harris continued her run with two quick kills while Jensen added a block and kill on the way to a tie at six. Later, Kolden teamed up with Lacy on a pair of blocks before adding a kill and ace to push the squad's lead to 13-8. Although the momentum was cemented on the Captain side, UMass-Boston battled back. The team swept eight of the next 11 rallies to even the set again at 16.
CNU remained deadlocked until rolling off a streak at the end of the set. Jensen broke the tie after a kill and ace on consecutive rallies before Kidd and Fellows grabbed a 23-18 advantage heading into a UMass-Boston timeout.
Kidd saved a rally with a dig off her shoulder before Fellows finished the series with a block to earn set point at 24-18. On the next rally, Kolden wrapped up the match with one last kill that clocked a Beacon defender and went spinning high into the UMass-Boston fan section.