RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University senior setter Susie McKeever (North Fort Myers, Fla./North Fort Myers) recorded eight kills, 21 assists and 12 digs, including the 2,000th assist of her career, to lead the Golden Falcons to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 27-25) Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's volleyball victory over visiting Nyack College on Saturday afternoon at Job Gymnasium.
Felician was celebrating Senior Day. Graduating seniors Pati Giemza (Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland/SMS Beach Volleyball), McKeever, and Sarah Shebel (Chandler, Ariz./Perry) were honored in a pre-match ceremony.
McKeever becomes only the second player in the 13-year history of the Felician program to reach 2,000 assists. Her current total of 2,014 trails only the 2,535 of Nicole Degenhardt (2006-07, 2009-10) in Golden Falcon annals.
With Saturday's victory, Felician (6-23, 4-13) kept its hopes alive of a playoff berth from the CACC North Division. The Golden Falcons must win their final two matches and receive favorable results in other conference contests to qualify.
Freshman middle blocker Carmen Shaw (Gardnerville, Nev./Douglas) topped a balanced Golden Falcon offense with nine kills. Sophomore outside hitter Alexus Winters (Yorba Linda, Calif.) turned in eight kills and 13 digs for Nyack (2-23, 1-16).
Felician never trailed in either of the first two sets. In Set 1, the Golden Falcons jumped out to an 11-3 lead. The Warriors chopped a 17-7 deficit to 19-14, but never drew any closer, as the Golden Falcons claimed the set's final five rallies. McKeever had eight assists in the set to reach the milestone.
The Golden Falcons led, 7-5, in Set 2 before embarking on a run of seven consecutive points on Shebel's service game. Felician sophomore middle Shannon Hood (East Orange, N.J./Saint Dominic Academy) had a kill and a block during the spurt. Nyack came as close as 21-16, then four more points with Shebel serving brought the Golden Falcons to the brink of victory, two points later, a McKeever kill ended the set.
Set 3 featured 11 ties and six lead changes. Felician came back from a 20-17 deficit, scoring five straight points with Kristen Keller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) serving. McKeever was instrumental in the run with two kills and two assists. The Warriors would move ahead, 23-22, on an ace from Lindsay Miller (Chandler, Ariz.), but the Golden Falcons claimed the next two points. Nyack saved two set points, but with the set tied, 25-25, a Paulina Calero (El Centro, Calif./Southwest) kill and a Nyack attack error ended the match.
Hood totaled eight kills and four blocks and Lanyse Castro (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth) finished with seven kills and eight digs for Felician. Giemza accumulated 13 digs and six assists from her libero position. Nyack sophomore Jillian Smith (Oceanside, Calif.) had 15 assists and 14 digs.
Felician matched its program record for victories, which it established in 2007 and tied in 2013.