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College Volleyball: Raiders stumble in quarterfinals

Central Lakes College faced SUNY Broome in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.

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Central Lakes College Raiders Jaime Johnson (No. 11) tips the ball Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, against SUNY Broome in the NJCAA Division III National Volleyball Quarterfinals at Rochester. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!
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ROCHESTER — SUNY Broome served the Central Lakes Conference Raiders a 3-0 upset in the NJCAA Division III National Quarterfinals Thursday, Nov. 11.

The No. 5 seeded Hornets recorded 14 ace serves, while the No 4 seeded Raiders recorded 11 serving errors.

The Hornets Macey Gibson finished with six ace serves, six kills and eight digs and Sara Zepkowski added three ace serves, six kills and four blocks.

“Serve and pass. Serve and pass,” CLC head coach Jane Peterson said. “They were good. They served tough, but we did not play our best. We missed six serves in the first set and that was not helpful.

CLC volleyball NJCAA Division III National Tournament Quarterfinals

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“When a team that wants to win and gets ahead then they can serve tougher. We didn’t take advantage of things. I think anyone watching would say that we looked like we were losing more than wanting to win.”

The Raiders received 10 kills each from Haley Schleper and Jaime Johnson. Schleper added two set assists, five digs and a block. Johnson contributed two ace serves and one block.

“We fought,” Peterson said. “We kept fighting but just couldn’t do anything. We couldn’t get it all together and that’s what happens when you can’t pass consistently. Everything is a struggle. Then when you win the point and get to serve and miss the serve, well then it’s a struggle again.”

Megan Rinicker finished with a team-high 11 digs to go with six kills and two blocks and Grace Peabody distributed 21 set assists to go with 10 digs.

“It’s hard to defend a team when you can’t practice against that kind of hitter,” Peterson said. “They had fast middle hitters. One, who was really good. Just a fast middle hitter. Way faster than we’ve seen for quite a while and we don’t see consistency. We didn’t have the experience to defend that consistency, but mostly it was the serve pass.”

In the opening set, the two teams battled to a 12-12 tie before the Hornets went on a 5-0 run to secure a 21-15 advantage.

With the score once against tied 12-12 in the second set, SUNY rattled off four straight points, but the Raiders recovered and posted a 5-0 run to claim a 17-16 edge. The Hornets later grabbed a 20-19 edge and outscored CLC down the stretch 5-2 for the Set Two win.

SUNY jumped to a 10-6 lead in the final set and built that lead to 19-13 Two late Johnson kills brought CLC to 24-22 before a Zepkowski kill ended the match.

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“You have a new opportunity,” Peterson said. “The one thing I said that was any good after that match was it’s OK to set your goals really high and fail. Then you need to take advantage of the opportunities that you have. We have an opportunity to go out show people who we really are.

“I think we’ll be able to bounce back.”

SUNY Broome 25 25 25
Central Lakes 20 21 22

Raider statistics
Haley Schleper 10 kills, 2 set assists, 5 digs, 1 block
Gabbie Enneking 1 kill, 6 digs
Sarah Bennett 3 set assists, 5 digs
Grace Peabody 2 kills, 21 set assists, 10 digs
Megan Rinicker 6 kills, 3 set assists, 11 digs, 2 blocks
Tori Plemel 3 digs
Jacey Rydberg 4 kills, 1 set assist
Jaime Johnson 10 digs, 2 digs, 2 blocks
Brooke Watland 1 kill
Overall: CLC 21-10. Next: No. 4 Central Lakes vs. Rowan College South Jersey in the NJCAA Division III National consolation semifinal at Rochester 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12.

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Central Lakes College Raiders head coach Jane Peterson (in the red sweater) talks with her team during a timeout Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 in the NJCAA Division III National Volleyball Tournament in Rochester. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

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