By Michael Otero
Coming off their loss against Dowling College on Tuesday, Oct. 21, the women’s volleyball team (15-11) looked to bounce back against the Lions
from Molloy College (10-13) on Thursday, Oct. 23, from Quealy Gymnasium in Rockville Centre, N.Y. The Pioneers outlasted the Lions in five sets as three different players recorded double-digit kill performances for the visitors.
With the two sides tied at seven in the first set, the Pioneers went on a 6-1 spurt to grab a 13-8 advantage. The Lions responded however, eventually drawing even at 17. The Pioneers managed to claim the first set with help from freshman middle blocker Danielle Valenza, who captured the final kill of the set. The Lions regained their composure and won a hard fought second set 25-23 to even the match at 1-1.
The crucial third set saw the visitors rally from four points down to even the match at 14. Key blocks from Valenza and freshman middle blocker Heather Ball sparked the Green and Gold. With the set later tied at 21, the Pioneers scored four of the set’s final five points to claim the upper hand. Junior setter Monica Amador provided two kills during that span. The perseverance of the Lions was on display in the fourth set as they won the do-or-die game to even up the match at two sets a side.
In the deciding fifth set, the Pioneers jumped out to a 10-3 lead and never looked back. Amador notched back-to-back kills in the streak while Ball chipped in two kills of her own. Graduate outside hitter Katie Hudencial served two aces during the span as well. The Pioneers cruised in the final set, earning their sixth win in their last seven matches. Sophomore middle hitter Analise Austin totaled 14 digs to go along with her five kills while junior setter Lulu Centro accumulated 47 assists.
The Pioneers returned home to Pratt Recreation Center to welcome the Bentley University Falcons (13-8) on Friday, Oct. 24. The five-game home stand for the Pioneers started with a bang as they defeated the Falcons in straight sets en route to their seventh win in their last eight matches.
The Pioneers battled back two separate times in the opening set and found themselves tied with the Falcons at 22. The Pioneers earned the next three points and the opening set. The second set saw more of the same for the Pioneers as they rallied
late to draw within striking distance. Trailing late in the set, LIU got key kills from junior libero Rachel Ringor and senior middle blocker Heather Adams to pull even at 22. Adams teamed up with junior middle hitter Melissa Hansen to secure the 2-0 advantage for the hosts.
After their 11th tie of the final set at 16, the Pioneers won the next three points and never looked back. With help from unforced errors by the Falcons and two kills by Valenza, the Pioneers won the hard fought set and match by a score of 3-0.
Head coach Shellane Ogoshi and the Pioneers return to action on Thursday, Oct. 30, when they welcome Southern Connecticut State University to Brookville N.Y. First serve is set for 7 p.m.