NYACK, N.Y. – Nyack College won the deciding set by the minimum two points to complete a comeback from two sets behind and earn a 3-2 (16-25, 16-25, 25-11, 25-19, 15-13) Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's volleyball victory over visiting Felician University on Wednesday night at Bowman Gymnasium.
After not playing a five-set match for its first 15 contests of the season, Felician (5-12, 4-6 CACC) dropped a deciding set for its second consecutive match.
Freshman outside hitter Kahea Aea (Mililani Hawaii) totaled 11 kills, 15 digs and a season-high four blocks for the Golden Falcons. Classmate Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii) turned in 17 assists and 11 digs. Sophomore setter Rachel Medin (San Diego, Calif.) led a balanced Nyack offense with 45 assists, 17 digs and four aces.
Felician captured 25-16 decisions in each of the first two sets. In Set 1, the visitors turned a 13-13 tie into an 18-14 edge. Still ahead 18-16 the Golden Falcons won the final seven rallies, including two service aces by freshman Alondra Diaz Sanchez (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico.). The second set produced nearly the same ending. Felician junior Hannah Skendziel (Tampa, Fla.) had a hand in four consecutive blocks as her team again tallied the final six points.
Nyack (7-11, 6-4) came out with a vengeance in Set 3, turning a 4-4 tie into a 10-5 advantage, which eventually grew to 16-9. In the fourth, the Warriors opened a 16-10 bulge and won the set by the same six-point margin.
Nyack was ahead, 7-4 in the deciding set, and still led, 9-6, before Felician ran off five consecutive points. The Warriors came back to even things at 11-11, and four rallies later, the teams were knotted at 13-13.
The Golden Falcons failed to come up with the side-out, instead seeing Warrior sophomore Kyra Zuhlke (Johnstown, Colo.) put down a kill to bring her team to the brink of victory. Felician called both of its allotted timeouts, but it was to no avail as Nyack's Larreya Hayden (Yorba Linda, Calif.) ended the match with a kill exactly two hours after started
Zukhle topped the hosts with 15 kills and four blocks, and senior Megan Ma'afala-Maiava (Pearl City, Hawaii) added 14 kills. Felician received nine kills from senior Paulina Calero (El Centro, Calif.).
Felician returns home to face CACC South Division foe Wilmington (Del.) University on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Rutherford, N.J.