RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For the second consecutive season, the Felician University women's volleyball team has established a program record for victories.
Felician set its latest standard with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference win over visiting Nyack College on Thursday night at Job Gymnasium. The triumph pushed the Golden Falcons' overall won-lost record for 2019 to 14-15. Last year, Felician finished 13-18.
At 12-4 in conference play, the Golden Falcons maintained their two-game lead over Bloomfield College for first place in the CACC North Division. Felician inched closer to clinching a home first-round playoff match for the first-time ever, holding onto its three-game edge over third-place Caldwell University. All three schools were winners on Thursday, and all have three league matches remaining. The Golden Falcons host Caldwell on Nov. 13.
Felician junior Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani), making a rare start at outside hitter, hit .406 and led all players with a career-high 16 kills. Asbery also matched another collegiate best of seven digs. The Golden Falcons posted a team attack percentage of .276.
The Golden Falcons held Nyack (7-15, 6-10) to a .000 attack percentage in systematically pulling away to win Set 1. The Warriors sliced a 12-5 second-set deficit to 19-18, but an Asbery kill followed by consecutive service aces from freshman Catherine Lentsch (Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn South) gave the hosts the breathing room they need to capture the set.
Felician jumped ahead, 5-0, in Set 3, forcing an early Nyack timeout. The Warriors recovered to even the score at 9-9, but the Golden Falcons won the next four rallies to move ahead for good. Senior middle blocker Jazlyn Pipkins (Paris, Texas/Paris) picked up two assisted blocks and an assist during the run. Ahead 22-16, Felician surrendered the next three points, but then scored the final three, closing out the match on an ace from freshman setter Miquela Martinez (Santa Fe, N.M./St. Michael's).
Felician snapped a three-match losing streak. Sophomore Maddie Sloan (Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) hit .350 with nine kills, and senior Kali Vodrazka (Bayonne, N.J./Bayonne) hit .312 with seven kills and three blocks. The Golden Falcons defeated Nyack twice in the same season for only the second time (2015).
Junior middle Kyra Zuhlke (Johnstown, Colo./Resurrection Christian School) led the Warriors with 10 kills. Nyack junior setter Rachel Medin (San Diego, Calif./Del Norte) produced seven kills, 17 assists and 13 digs.
Prior to 2018, Felician had never claimed more than seven wins in a season. The program was founded in 2004.
Felician hosts regionally-ranked Georgian Court University on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Golden Falcons will celebrate Senior Day prior to the match.