RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For more than two and a half hours on Saturday afternoon, the women's volleyball teams from Felician University and Holy Family University competed tightly before the visiting Tigers finally came away with a 3-2 (23-25, 32-30, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13) Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory at Job Gymnasium.
Felician (13-13, 11-2 CACC) saw its school-record winning streaks of 10 matches and eight home matches come to an end. The Golden Falcons had not lost since dropping a five-set decision at Caldwell University on Sept. 26 and had not been defeated in Rutherford since being on the short end of a trio of two-point sets to Post University on Oct. 17, 2018.
The Golden Falcons maintain a three-game lead over Bloomfield College for first place in the CACC North Division. Both teams have six matches remaining.
In defeat, freshman setter Miquela Martinez (Santa Fe, N.M./St. Michael's HS) set a Felician single-match record with 58 assists. The former mark of 55 was shared by Nicole Degenhardt (Nov. 3, 2007, at Wilmington (Del.) University) and Susie McKeever (Sept. 22, 2015, vs. Lincoln (Pa.) University), with McKeever accomplishing the feat in a four-set match.
In total on Saturday, the teams played for two hours, 35 minutes, were tied 38 times, and saw the lead change hands on 17 occasions.
Felician recovered from a late 22-20 deficit to win Set 1. The Golden Falcons came back from town 15-9 and 20-16 to force Set 2 into volleyball's version of overtime. But after each team saved multiple set points, Holy Family freshman Maeve Boylan (Ridley Township, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) ended the 39-minute affair with a service ace.
Three kills by junior Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani) keyed a 7-0 Felician run that flipped a two-point Set 3 deficit into a 20-15 lead, and the hosts parlayed that edge into victory. But the Golden Falcons missed several opportunities in Set 4 to close out the match. The set featured 11 ties and seven lead changes, and saw the Tigers score the final three points.
Felician fell behind, 5-1, in the deciding set and never fully recovered. Consecutive kills by Golden Falcon senior Kali Vodrazka (Bayonne, N.J./Bayonne) drew her team even at 12-12, but the hosts never took the lead. With the set tied, 13-13, a kill by Camille Johnson (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) and a Morgan Silks (Norristown, Pa./Archbisop Carroll) ace handed HFU (15-8, 9-3) its seventh win in a row.
Silks totaled 58 assists and 20 digs and freshman Allyssa Hartney (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) led all players with 21 kills for the Tigers. Felician received a career-high 20 kills from Vodrazka, while sophomore libero Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha) recorded 35 digs.
Felician is idle until traveling to Wilmington for a noon match on Nov. 2 in Newark, Del.