SCRANTON, Pennsylvania – The University of New Jersey City women’s volleyball team traveled to Pennsylvania today, Saturday, October 23, for a tri-match at the University of Scranton campus. The Gothic Knights first faced Wilkes University in a relentless five-set loss (21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 24-26, 8-15), then faced the host Royals in three – Defeat defined (16-25, 20-25, 7-25).
In the first game of the day for NJCU (13-9), the Gothic Knights won all points against the Colonels (10-16) and led two sets to one at one point, but sadly dropped the five. sets to Wilkes. Junior right side hitter Paola Toledo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic / Colegio Catolico San Rafael) recorded his first double-double with the Gothic Knights after leading all players with a game and a season best 16 kills (equal his career NJCAA best) to go with a season best 20 digs.
Rookie on the outside hitter Rachael Pharo (Manahawkin, NJ / Regional South) added another double-double to his first college season with 12 kills and 22 digs. Senior Libero Madeline Lopez (Elizabeth, NJ / Hudson Catholic) wiped out his career-high digs total with a record 32 to go with a pair of aces. Junior Katrina Nguyendon (Union, NJ / Union) started at the passer and took advantage of it, distributing 47 career and match assists, with a record 17 digs for his first double-double of the season and 11th of his career.
Junior intermediate ascenders Xarial Chandler (East Orange, NJ / University) and senior Leah Seickendick (Hoboken, NJ / Hudson Catholic) each had strong matches against the colonels. Chandler finished with 11 kills on 33 swings with four errors (0.212 hit percentage) to go with nine digs, three blocks and two aces. Seickendick had eight clear eliminations out of 14 swings (.571) to go with four blocks in total, the best of the game. Second year outside hitter Alexis Newsome (Watchung, NJ / Catholic Hudson) finished with seven kills, six aces, a game and career high, two blocks total and 11 digs, also a career record.
The second game of the day for Jersey City was unfortunately not as close as the historically competitive Scranton side (23-5) sent NJCU in straight sets. Toledo once again led the Gothic Knights with a team record of eight kills. Nguyendon finished with 10 assists, a high for the team, while Pharo had three kills and the team’s six best digs. Seickendick again led all players with a total of three blocks in total to go with three error-free eliminations in eight swings (0.375).
The Knights are heading home for the last three games of their regular season schedule. NJCU kicks off with a Tuesday, Oct. 26 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game against Montclair State University, with a first serve scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (JMAC). Next, on Thursday night, October 28 at 7:00 p.m., the NJCU will celebrate its senior night, then take on non-conference enemy Mount Saint Mary College. The Gothic Knights will close the regular season on Saturday morning, October 30 at 11:00 am against another non-conference opponent at St. Joseph’s College-LI at 11:00 am at JMAC. You can follow all three matches live on GothicVision.