NEWARK, N.J. - The NJIT men’s volleyball team swept visiting Sacred Heart, 3-0, in Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association action Saturday night in the Estelle and Zoom Fleisher Athletic Center.
The Highlanders, who dropped a 3-0 decision Friday night to No. 15 Harvard bounced back Saturday defeating Sacred Heart in straight sets, 25-16, 25-17, 25-18 improving to 3-10 overall, 1-3 in the EIVA while the Pioneers fall to 2-9 overall, 1-5 in the conference.
NJIT, which hit .316 for the match, was paced by sophomore outside hitter Chris Kaepernick with a match-high 11 kills on 21 swings and just one error. Kaepernick finished the match hitting .476 while adding five digs and five total blocks for the Highlanders (one solo, four assists).
Senior Doug Battersby and freshman Brad Thele each notched eight kills as Battersby hit .375 for the match and Thele combined for a .300 hitting percentage. Rookie middle Raphael Anthony notched five kills and three block solos.Senior setter Matthew Lui registered a match-high 33 assists, seven digs and six total blocks (two solo, four assists) while classmate Brady Smith led the match with nine digs.
The Highlanders, which held a 15-to-2 team blocking advantage was led by senior Kevin Van Oss with eight total blocks (two solo, six block assists).
Sacred Heart was led by Adrian Fernandez with nine kills followed by Brad Borsay with eight. Benjamin Thomas piled up 26 assists while Borsay and AJ Logosh each posted six digs for the Pioneers defensively.
In the first set, the score remained close early until 10-8, when the Highlanders rallied off three straight points for a 13-9 lead and later went ahead 17-11 on a kill by Kaepernick. After a point by the Pioneers, NJIT scored the next four points for a 21-12 advantage and the home team would cruise to a 25-16 victory.
The Highlanders dominated the second frame, hitting .370 led by Kaepernick with five kills and Battersby with four. The set saw six ties early on, the final at 7-7 as NJIT would extend the lead to 16-12 on back-to-back errors by the Pioneers, resulting in a timeout. After a kill by Battersby, NJIT took a 22-16 lead and closed out the set on a 3-1 run for a 25-17 victory.
The final set of the night was the closet, with the Highlanders finishing off the set on a 6-0 run for a 25-18 win for the sweep. Battersby and Thele registered four kills apiece in the set.
NJIT will break for a week and return to action on Friday, March 1 at 7pm when the Highlanders host Saint Francis at the Fleisher Athletic Center.
Story courtesy of NJIT