Nov. 21, 2008

Courtesy New Haven Athletics

WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The University of New Haven women's volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament round of 16 following its 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-13) victory of Georgian Court University. New Haven captured its 26th straight victory and improved to 30-3 on the season, while the Lions end their season with a 32-5 record.

The Chargers opened Friday's match with three unanswered points, but the Lions came back and grabbed the lead at 7-6. Points were exchanged for the next few services and the Chargers had reversed the lead at the 16-15 mark. UNH then rattled off six of the next seven points to take a 22-16 lead in the opening set. The Chargers captured the set by scoring the final two points including a kill by Rhe-Ann Niles for the Chargers' 24th point. The kill was Niles' tenth kill of the opening set.

The second set was played much closer as the teams exchanged rallies throughout the entire set. The Chargers held the largest lead of the set at 18-13 and 16-11. The Lions never led, but they tied the score on four different occasions (9-9, 18-18, 19-19 and 21-21). New Haven scored four of the last six points and took the 2-0 lead in the match.

The final set was all Chargers as they held the Lions to just 13 points. New Haven started by scoring the first four points and jumping out to a 7-1 lead. Georgian Court cut the lead to just two (9-7) after taking a timeout. UNH would go on to score five unanswered points and take a 14-7 lead. The Chargers scored 11 of the last 17 points and advanced to their first NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen since 2002.

Division II's leader in hitting percentage, Niles led the Chargers with 15 kills on 25 attempts with just four errors (.440 hitting percentage). She added seven total blocks, four digs and three assists to her stat line.

Charisse Cotton tallied 11 kills on 24 attempts with three errors (.333 hitting percentage). Yael Rosner led the team with a .636 hitting percentage off seven kills on 11 attempts with no errors. The senior also handed out 30 assists, made three blocks and recorded one ace. Sara Malmlov led the UNH defense with 10 digs in the match.

The Chargers take on Dowling College in the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball East Regional Championship match tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Charger Gymnasium.