JERSEY CITY, NJ – After winning against Baruch College on Thursday night, Oct. 20, on senior night, the New Jersey City University women’s volleyball team took on John Jay College at home at John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (JMAC) on Saturday afternoon, October 22. The Gothic Knights won the match in straight sets (25-17, 28-26, 25-20) against the Bloodhounds.
NJCU (14-11) took control of the first set early, starting the afternoon with a 7-3 lead. Senior Katrina Nguyendon (Union, NJ/Union) – back in place of libero – came out strong for the Gothic Knights, scoring her two service aces in the contest to open the match. John Jay (12-10) fought back, however, recording a five-point series to take the team’s first lead of the day, 8-7.
The two teams continued to trade points back and forth, with the Gothic Knights barely staying on top until Jersey City went on a six-point run late in the first to take a 19-11 lead. Second-year outside hitter Rachel Pharo also scored her two service aces in the opening set during the run. After taking a 23-16 lead later, NJCU closed out the first set, winning 25-17 after back-to-back service errors by the Bloodhounds.
The second set saw a similar start to the first as NJCU opened the lead early with a 4-0 run. Afterwards, the Bloodhounds made two separate three-point runs as the two teams traded points to take a 10-9 lead. The Gothic Knights, however, fought back with two separate three-pointers to take an eventual 17-12 lead after several offensive mistakes by John Jay. The Bloodhounds eventually came back late in the second to tie the set at 24-24, but after the two teams traded points, the two senior middle blockers Leah Seickendick (Hoboken, NJ/Hudson Catholic) and Pharo scored back-to-back victories to allow NJCU to win, 26-24.
The third and final set started very similar to the end of the second set. The two teams traded points back and forth and neither had a more than three-point lead as John Jay led 10-7 early. The NJCU eventually came back and tied the game six more times, the last being 19-19. Luckily for NJCU, the momentum swung in favor of the Gothic Knights as they started their second and final six-point series of the contest to take a 24-19 lead. Junior Medium Blocker Ashley Jimenez (West New York, NJ/Memorial) earned two of his three kills in the contest in the late run. NJCU ended the game with a junior passer kill Sydney Lore (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) to win the third set 25-20 and sweep John Jay.
Late in the game, senior right hitter Paola Toledo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Colegio Catolico San Rafael) was the only Gothic Knight to score double-digit wins with 10. Additionally, the sophomore middle blocker Dayshia Espinosa (El Paso, TX/Pebble Hills) would play a sensational match that would not only appear on the score sheet. Espinosa had four kills, a service ace and a critical-point dig throughout.
Jersey City returns home for its final home game of the regular season Tuesday night, Oct. 25, at the JMAC to take on New Jersey City Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival William Paterson University on Coach Charlie Brown Court. The game will be played at 7:00 p.m. and will be the last NJAC game of the season.