NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The College of New Rochelle Womens Volleyball team came out on fire in the opening match of the Union Invitational Tournament against Skidmore College Friday night. CNR ran out to a 2-0 set lead (25-19 and 25-22) but couldn't close out a tight third set, losing 25-23. The Thoroughbreds rallied to win the fourth and fifth sets to take the match 3-2.
Sophomore Tamara Beckford (Bronx, NY) was key in the opening frame with five of her 10 kills in the match. In the second game, freshmen Cristal Liciaga (San Juan, PR) led the way with three kills.
In the pivotal third set of the Skidmore contest, CNR found itself down 20-11. But behind the serve of freshmen Brianna Garcia (San Juan, PR) and sophomore Stephanie Garcia (Chino, CA) CNR closed the gap to 23-22. But, two Blue Angel errors surrounded by a Skidmore double-touch, ended the frame 25-23 in favor of the Thoroughbred.
CNR never got going in the fourth as it lost 25-13, but came back in the final frame to make things very interesting. Down 13-7, Brianna Garcia served four straight points to make it 13-11. Three Skidmore errors and a kill by freshmen Imani Debose (Carson, CA) led the lead closure. After another attack error by Skidmore, sophmore Rosa Angeles (Yonkers, NY) served at 13-14, but a kill by Skidmore's Rachel Licata ended the match.
Junior Fabiola Padilla Rios (San Juan, PR) had a team-high 11 kills and 19 digs. Brianna Garcia added 15 digs at libero.
In the night cap, CNR lost to Union 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-18). In the third frame, CNR jumped out to an 8-3 lead on a kill by freshmen Simaima Fukofuka (Garden Grove, CA) and held a comfortable lead at 12-8 until the hosts went on a 8-1 run to take a 16-13 lead and went on to win the set.
Three Blue Angels (Debose, Padilla-Rios, and Liciaga) led the way with seven points apiece. Senior Melanie Ann Lopez Soto (Gurabo, PR) had 16 assists in the match against Union and 39 on the evening for CNR. Brianna Garcia added 18 more digs to lead CNR on defense against Union.
CNR is now 2-4, while Skidmore improves to 4-5, while Union now sits at 6-4.
The Blue Angels will be back on the court tomorrow as they travel the short ride to Sage Colleges for a double-header against the hosts and a rematch against Skidmore.