Atufunwa
UNH

WEST HAVEN, Conn. -- New Haven erased a 5-1 deficit in set five to knock off NYIT 3-2 and advance to the Round of 16. The top-seeded Chargers will host second-seed Bridgeport Saturday with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line.

The five-set win improves the Chargers’ winning streak to 26 matches and moves their record to 29-1. The Bears end their 2012 campaign in second round with a record of 22-10.

Amber Cannady led all players with 18 kills and a .424 hitting percentage (18-4-33). Keidy Candelaria and Kristen Lee joined her in double figures with 14 and 11, respectively, and each fell just shy of a double-double with nine digs apiece. Kristy Atufunwa added nine kills and Ashley Dalton registered five finishers. Setter Kaulana Ane neared a triple-double, posting eight kills of her own in addition to 53 assists and nine digs. The Chargers hit a cumulative .252 (65-26-155), including two sets hitting .400 or better.

Defensively, Kea-Marie Olaso had a team-best 10 digs alongside the trio with nine apiece. At the net, Cannady got a piece of four of the Chargers’ five team blocks. New Haven limited NYIT to a .195 hitting percentage (59-29-154).

Margo Meteyer had three service aces for New Haven with Candelaria and Olaso each landing one as well.

Shelby Cable headed the NYIT attack with 16 digs and completed a double-double with 13 digs. Marija Jovanovic dished out 45 assists for the Bears, and Tugce Sirdas led all players with 15 digs.

New Haven led each set en route to wins by scores of 25-16 and 25-19 and a fast 2-0 lead in the match.

The Bears fought back, however, taking set three 25-20 and hanging on to a 25-23 decision in set four to force a fifth set.

In the deciding frame, NYIT grabbed a quick 5-1 lead and clung to an 8-6 advantage at the turn. At that point, Cannady slammed home two kills and teamed up with Ane for a block as a part of a 5-1 run that staked New Haven its first lead of the deciding set at 11-9. The Chargers would not relinquish the lead as an Atufunwa kill sealed a consecutive trip to the third round with a 15-13 victory.