WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Talia Lombardo recorded the first double-double of her collegiate career, but it would not be enough to lead the Suffolk volleyball team past the University of Saint Joseph Connecticut Saturday morning at the O'Connell Center. The Blue Jays took the match in straight sets by scores of 25-22, 25-21 and 25-17.
Lombardo finished the morning with 12 kills off a .370 hitting clip while adding 13 digs, two aces and two assists. The first-year has now led the Rams (2-6, 1-3 GNAC) offensively in four matches and is the first player in blue-and-gold to record a double-double since Krista Iacobuccio did so versus Eastern Nazarene October 11, 2014. Her career-high kills is also the most for a Ram player since Iacobuccio tallied 13 versus Saint Joseph's Maine September 27, 2014. Bridget Allison, Madison Martin and Chidera Nwankwo turned in three kills kills, with Allison providing nine digs and two aces. Liz Kerek dished out 14 assists.
The Blue Jays (4-3, 1-1 GNAC) received a 15-kill, 11-dig effort from Tiffany Mapusaga and Emily Vigue contributed 10 kills.
The first set was tightly contested as the teams traded the lead several times. Thanks to a 10-3 stretch Suffolk put itself out in front, 14-10. After the set tied at 15-15, USJCT took control and pulled away to a 20-17 advantage, but the Rams responded and came within two, 24-22, thanks to back-to-back points from Lombardo, but the Blue Jays responded to take the set 25-22.
The Rams trailed 20-9 in the opening of the second, but rallied and Lombardo's ninth kill of the match brought Suffolk within one, 22-21. The comeback was not enough, however, as the hosts' truing together three points to seal the stanza 25-21.
Roles reversed in the final frame with the Rams taking a 14-10 edge. USJCT put on the pressure and tied the set at 15-15, before taking a 20-17 lead. The Blue Jays did not look back and took the match, 25-22.
Suffolk is back in action this afternoon against Pratt.