NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A slow start coupled by a powerful Manhattanville hitting trio was more than the College of New Rochelle could overcome in the opening round of the ECAC Metro Region Playoffs Wednesday night. The Blue Angels managed to climb back into the contest and made the game interesting, but in the end suffered a 3-0 (16-25, 18-25, 16-25) setback.
CNR finishes an impressive season at 19-13. The team also earned its third consecutive HVIAC title in the process. Manhattanville will advance to the semi-finals of the tournament, where they will face #2 seed Kean Uninversity on Saturday at Ramapo College.
Nerves seemed to get the best of CNR receiving game, at the onset, as CNR quickly fell behind 7-0. Down 13-2, the Blue Angels found some rhythymand fought back to close the lead to 16-12 on an ace by sophomore Melanie Ann Lopez Soto (Gurabo, PR). But, CNR would get no closer, as the Valiants finished off the set to take a 1-0 lead,
The second frame saw CNR play much more relaxed and took the lead midway through the frame 11-10. After a kill by sophomore Tamara Beckford (Bronx, NY) that full CNR to within one at 14-13, the Valiants went on a pivotal 5-0 run thanks to the service of Meagan Dattoma. The two teams traded points the rest of the way, ultimately leading to the 7-point loss (25-18).
The third set saw Manhattanville jump out to a 13-6 lead. With the match appearing to be in hand, the Blue Angels made a 'Valiant' run of their own and stunned the crowd when Beckford slammed down a point to close the lead to 15-13 - forcing a home team timeout. That timeout was all Manhattanville needed as they went on a 7-1 run which sealed the win.
Sophomore Fabiola Padilla Rios (San Juan, PR) led CNR with eight kills and 13 digs, while freshmen Stephanie Garcia (Chino, CA) led the defense with 21 digs. Manhattanville was led by their triple threat of Asia Reid, who had a game-high nine kills, while Alissa Primavera and Dattoma who both ended with eight.