ROCHESTER -- The consolation trophy will be the goal for Central Lakes College after a split of their first two games in the NJCAA Diviision III National Tournament Thursday, Nov 14.
The No. 5 seeded Raiders opened the tournament with a 3-0 sweep of No. 12 Raritan Valley from North Branch, N.J., with scores of 25-16, 25-19 and 25-15.
Nicole Kortan tallied four kills, 2 set assists, 2 ace serves, 4 digs and two blocks. Sydney Berg totaled nine kills and two blocks.
“It would have gone better if we hadn’t missed a lot of serves,” said head coach Jane Peterson. “It is a different environment for serving so those errors are understandable. We started fine and played good enough to win.”
With the win against the Golden Lions, Central Lakes then faced No. 4 seed Brookhaven in the quarterfinals.
The Bears, who hail from Farmers Branch, Texas, won in straight sets, 25-16, 25-13 and 25-16.
Haley Schleper knocked down six kills and collected three blocks. Lillee Hardee tallied five kills and two blocks.
“They were really good and took advantage of our mistakes,” Peterson said. “In the second set, we were up 22-16 and gave up eight points in a row and on the eighth point it was an official overruling the line judge that did not go in our favor and that was a game I thought we should have won. In the third set, we gave up around eight in a row and those two stretches did it. We competed hard, but just made too many mistakes. “You just can’t give up that many points in a row and expect to win. Our mistakes weren’t one glaring thing. We passed pretty well, but the intensity of the situation was a lot for us.”
The Raiders face No. 9 Jefferson in the consolation semifinals Friday, Nov 15.
“We have one more chance to be the team we want to be and if we finish fifth we will be 3-1 (for the weekend),” Peterson said. “That is pretty good so that is what we will try to do.”