BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Senior Shelby Cable led the match with 19 kills and 23 digs to lift third-seeded NYIT to a 3-1 victory against sixth-seeded Dowling in the first round of the NCAA Division II East Regional on Thursday. The final set scores were 18-25, 25-17, 34-32 and 25-22.
Senior Katarina Sretenovic added 17 kills with a match-high .469 attack percentage. Senior Marija Jovanovic dished out 52 assists and grabbed 11 digs for a double-double. Sophomore Kate Brock led the match with nine total blocks. As a team, NYIT (27-6) out-blocked Dowling 14-8 and had a 7-6 aces advantage.
For Dowling (19-14), Jessica Kalbfleisch led with 17 kills.
Dowling took the first set with a 5-2 opening and an 8-3 rally to close out the set after a 16-16 stalemate. Yet, NYIT found its groove in the second set and claimed an 11-7 lead on a kill by Cable. The Bears maintained control of the scoreboard and went on a 6-2 run to take the second set on another kill from Cable.
The third set was highly contested and saw 16 ties with eight set points before NYIT won on a kill by Sretenovic and a service ace from Sarah Stein.
In the final set of the match, the Bears opened 5-0 on blocks from Cable, Brown and Sretenovic, an ace by Jovanovic, and a kill by Cable. However, the Golden Lions did not give up without a fight and tied the set three times before the Bears were able to pull ahead 15-11. Despite Dowling's pressure, NYIT never looked back and went on to win on back-to-back Golden Lions errors.