Epic Set 3 Comeback Lifts NJCU to Sweep of Baruch

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 20th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, NCAA D3, News


  • New Jersey City University def. Baruch College 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 26-24)
  • NJCU moves to 12-11; Baruch falls to 12-11
  • Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Attendance: 107
  • Box Score


JERSEY CITY, N.J. – They say it isn’t over until its over and that couldn’t have proven more true for New Jersey City University which was facing a 23-12 deficit in Set 3 against Baruch College, but rallied for a 26-24 win to close out a sweep.

After taking the first two sets in close back-and-forth affairs, the Gothic Knights found themselves facing an early 6-0 deficit in Set 3 as the Bearcats notched three aces from sophomore opposite Yeaslie Velasco. NJCU was soon down 17-5 as junior outside Leslie Chin served up three straight aces. Another ace and two kills extended the Baruch lead to 23-12. Something clicked and the Gothic Knights put together a 6-0 run, including two kills and a block by freshman middle Leah Seickendick.  An error put Baruch on the hill for the set at 24-18, but NJCU responded by notching eight straight points, thwarting six set-point attempts, to steal away the 26-24 victory. A kill and two aces by sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Duque coupled with two Baruch miscues helped the team to a 24-all tie. A Seickendick solo stuff and a kill by junior opposite Naiomi Cintron wrapped up the epic comeback and the sweep.

“Everyone contributed to the comeback and had their part in this win,” NJCU coach Robert Cole said. “I can’t thank the men’s basketball team enough for their support at the end. It was fun to be in that kind of environment and see a team come together and complete a great rally.”

For the match, NJCU outhit Baruch .192 to .039 and bested its foes in kills (39-20), aces (12-10) and blocks (5-3).

Cintron, Duque and Seickendick notched eight kills apiece to lead the Gothic Knight attack. Seickendick hit at an eye-popping .800 clip, with no errors in 10 swings, while also putting up a team-best five blocks. Duque chipped in eight digs and a team-leading five aces, while junior outside Amber O’Donnell was tops int he backcourt with 10 digs.

Sophomore middle Yijia Cai and freshman outside Stella Chung put down seven kills apiece and hit at .400 or better clips to lead Baruch. Chung also added a team-best eight digs alongside freshman outside Taylor Mello. Cai accounted for two blocks, while Velasco served up five of the team’s 10 aces.



Courtesy: NJCU Athletics

New Jersey City University pulled off a remarkably improbable comeback in the third set, rallying from deficits of 17-5, 23-12 and 24-18, staving off six game points to defeat Baruch College, 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 26-24) in a non-conference match on October 19 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (Coach Charlie Brown Court).

NJCU moved back above .500 at 12-11, dropping the Bearcats to 10-13. NJCU had a 39-20 differential in kills behind the play of rookie middle hitter Leah Seickendick (Hoboken, NJ/Hudson Catholic) who hit an astounding .800 with eight kills in 10 swings (8-0-10) and five blocks. Baruch was limited to a .039 attack percentage.

Sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Duque (West New York, NJ/Memorial) had eight kills, eight digs and five service aces and junior opposite Naiomi Cintron hit .385 with eight kills and two blocks.

NJCU, which reached double digits in kills in all three sets, had 14 in the first two sets. Tied 19-19 in game one, NJCU scored six of the final seven points to clinch the set, 25-20. Back-to-back kills by sophomore opposite Pamela Florimon (Teaneck, NJ/Memorial) and consecutive aces by Duquesparked the first four points for a 23-19 lead before an ace from sophomore libero Georgina Rayo(Jersey City, NJ/McNair Academic) sealed it.

The teams traded 12 ties and seven lead changes in game two. Behind 21-19, NJCU scored the next four points—a Florimon kill and back-to-back putaways by Seickendick. Another kill by Florimon and an ace by senior setter Rachel McIntyre (Drexel Hill, PA/Upper Darby) clinched a 25-22 win as NJCU again scored six of the final seven points.

For most of the third set, it appeared Baruch would extend the match. The Bearcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead, aided by three aces by sophomore Yeaslie Velasco (Ridgewood, N.Y.) and later three consecutive aces by junior outside Leslie Chen (Staten Island, N.Y.) made it 16-5 before a kill added to it, 17-5. Two kills and an ace pushed the deficit to 21-9 and a kill by Baruch gave the guests a 23-12 lead.

Suddenly, the tide turned, albeit harmlessly at first. NJCU scored six consecutive points—highlighted by two Seickendick kills, a combined block by Seickendick and Cintron, and a McIntyre ace. Still, after an error, Baruch still owned six set points, leading 24-18.

With no margin for error, NJCU unleashed eight consecutive points to end the night—all behind the serving of Duque and an energized Gothic Knight crowd. A kill by Duque and ace sandwiched around two Baruch attack errors, cut the deficit to 24-22. A kill by junior outside Amber O’Donnell (East Newark, NJ/Harrison) and another Duque ace tied it at 24-24. Baruch, clearly stunned, had no answer and Seickendick rejected a solo block for a 25-24 lead and a Cintron kill sealed one of the best comebacks in program history.

Statistically for NJCU, McIntyre tallied 15 assists, six digs and three aces and junior setter Shaylah Ware (Newark, NJ/Science Park) provided 16 assists. Florimon had six kills, O’Donnell collected 10 digs and Rayo defended eight more digs.

For Baruch, Velasco had five of her team’s 10 aces. Sophomore middle blocker Yijia Cai (Shanghai, China) hit .438 with seven kills (7-0-16) with two blocks. Freshman outside Stella Chung (Staten Island, N.Y.) hit .429 with seven kills (7-1-14), eight digs and two aces.

Leah Seickendick was errorless in 10 attacks.

Head Coach Robert Cole on the comeback: “Everyone contributed to the comeback and had their part in this win. I can’t thank the men’s basketball team enough for their support at the end. It was fun to be in that kind of environment and see a team come together and complete a great rally.”

OF NOTE:Series: 11th meeting. Baruch leads all-time, 8-3. Baruch had its four-game winning streak in the series snapped.

UP NEXT:NJCU plays its final tri-match of the season on Saturday, October 21 when it heads to Old Westbury, N.Y. for a 12 p.m. neutral non-conference match against New Jersey Athletic Conference rival William Paterson University and host SUNY Old Westbury at 2 p.m. WP won the conference meeting between the schools on September 26 in Wayne, N.J. by a 3-0 outcome (25-12, 25-21, 25-14) and leads the all-time series, 40-12, with nine consecutive wins. It will be the 53rd meeting. Meanwhile, NJCU and OW play for the first time since November 1, 2013; NJCU leads the all-time series, 11-2.


Courtesy: Baruch Athletics

The women’s volleyball team lost in straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 26-24) to the Gothic Knights of New Jersey City University on Thursday night in Jersey City, New New Jersey.

The visiting Bearcats recorded 20 kills (.039) while the hosts had 39 (.192).

Yijia Cai and Stella Chung led the attack with seven kills each. Yeaslie Velasco notched a career-high five aces.

Three players totaled eight kills each for the Gothic Knights from the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

The loss drops to Bearcats to 10-13. The Gothic Knights improve to 12-11. ‘

The women’s volleyball team will next hit the road this weekend to compete at the Mount Holyoke College Tri-Match in South Hadley, Massachusetts against Mount Holyoke (10 a.m.) and Westfield State (12 p.m.).

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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