Volleyball Earns Victory, Sense Of Relief

John Chang tied the Felician coaching wins record with Saturday's three-set victory over Cheyney. (Steven R. Smith)
John Chang tied the Felician coaching wins record with Saturday's three-set victory over Cheyney. (Steven R. Smith)

VALHALLA, N.Y. – A 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-13) victory over Cheyney University highlighted Felician University's split of a non-conference women's volleyball tri-match hosted by Mercy College on Saturday afternoon at Westchester Community College. Earlier on Saturday, Felician was defeated by the host Mavericks, 3-1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-19, 25-23).  

By downing Cheyney, the Golden Falcons (1-5) put the brakes on a 36-match losing streak dating back to late 2015. Felician also ended a 16-match skid in non-conference contests. John Chang earned his 13th victory as the Golden Falcons' head coach, tying Alan Clements (2007-09) for the program record.

Sophomore setter Charlotte Greek (Menifee, Calif.) amassed 28 assists, six digs and five service aces against the Wolves, guiding the Felician offense to a season-high .174 attack percentage. Freshman middle blocker Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii) hit .562 with 10 kills, and junior outside hitter Paulina Calero (El Centro, Calif.) contributed eight kills and 11 digs.

The Golden Falcons got out to an 8-2 first-set lead, only to see Cheyney (0-3) rattle off seven consecutive points to move ahead 11-9. Knotted at 17-17, Felician won three points in a row and eight out of nine to pull away.

Greek had all five of her aces in Felician's 11-0 run to start Set 2. The Golden Falcons were ahead 18-4 before the Wolves clawed their way back into the set. But the deficit proved too much to overcome.

The Golden Falcons limited Cheyney to a negative attack percentage in Set 3. Felician took the lead for good after capturing three straight rallies with the score tied, 7-7. The Wolves did not win a point while serving for the rest of the match.

Sophomore libero Lauren Mack (Valparaiso, Ind.) finished with 13 digs and five aces and Amanda Coccia (Rahway, N.J.) added 12 digs for Felician. Junior Virshawna Campbell (Long Beach, Calif.) turned in a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs for Cheyney.

In the day's opening match, Felician and Mercy split the first two sets before the host Mavericks went ahead with a 25-19 Set 3 triumph.

In Set 4, the Golden Falcons were unable to hold onto a 15-9 advantage. Mercy tied the set at 18-18, and the score was even for the seventh and final time at 21-21. Following a kill by Brooke Runge (Closter, N.J.), the teams traded errors. A Kaitlyn Partridge (Corona, Calif.) kill put the Mavericks on the verge of victory. Felician saved one match point before succumbing, 25-23.  

In defeat, Calero posted her first double-double of the season with 14 kills and 13 digs. Mack recorded 23 digs, one shy of a career high, and freshman Kate Schneider (Cincinnati, Ohio) had nine blocks, one short of the Felician record.

Partridge topped Mercy (2-7) with 12 kills and six blocks. Runge accumulated 34 assists, nine digs and three aces from her setter position.

To conclude the day's action, Mercy topped Cheyney, 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-18).