Nov. 20, 2009

* Courtesy of Bridgeport Athletics

OAKDALE, N.Y. - For the first time in school history, the University of Bridgeport women's volleyball team has advanced to the NCAA Division II Round of 16 and the East Regional Final after a hard-fought, back-and-forth, five set, 25-16, 24-26, 25-16, 24-26, 15-9 win over the University of New Haven Chargers on Friday night. UB will now face the host Dowling College Golden Lions, 3-0 winners over Bentley University in the other East Regional semifinal, at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night for the East Regional title and a trip to the NCAA Division II Volleyball Elite Eight.

With the win, UB is now a single-season, school record 33-6. New Haven ends its season at 25-6.

Bridgeport and Dowling have already met four times this season, with each team winning twice. UB won the last meeting in the East Coast Conference Championship Tournament in five-sets on November 14th.

In the victory over UNH, junior Terry Masava (Nairobi, Kenya) led the team with 22 kills and hit .348 for the match. She also chipped in 22 digs and had a service ace.

Junior Ivana Kovacevic-Jurasin (Belgrade, Serbia) had 14 kills, including the final two of the match, and she added seven digs and two blocks (one solo).

In the fifth and decided set, the Purple Knights blitzed New Haven with a .412 hitting percentage crushing 10 kills on 17 attacks with only three errors. As a team, UB hit .250 on the night; while UNH hit .134.

A big difference in the outcome was Bridgeport's outstanding defense led by senior libero JJ Edwards (Georgetown, Ontario, Canada) who had a match-leading 27 digs. As a team, UB had 84 digs which offset New Haven having 19 more attacks in the contests. Bridgeport also had 10 service aces in the match to New Haven's four. Edwards led the Purple Knights in aces with five.

Graduate student Agatha Baliddawa (Jinja, Uganda) had an excellent match on offense registering 10 kills on 19 attacks with no errors. She also had five blocks two solos.

Classmate Emma Ariyo (Kampala, Uganda) had nine kills and five block assists to help Bridgeport to the win.

Setter Milica Micovic (Belgrade, Serbia) directed the Bridgeport offense with 50 assists on the night.