HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The NJIT men's volleyball team won its third consecutive match, sweeping the regular season series from Coker, 3-1, Tuesday evening in men's volleyball non-conference action at the DeLoach Center.
NJIT, in a stretch of seven matches on the road, picked up its 10th win of the season and second over Coker this season, improving to 10-7 overall. The Highlanders defeated Coker in Newark, 3-0, on March 9. The Cobras drop to 9-8 on the season.
Coker took the first set, 25-23, behind a .208 team hitting percentage, but the Highlanders rallied back to take the next three frames, 25-18, 25-21 and 25-22, securing the 3-1 victory.
Senior outside hitter Jabarry Goodridge, reigning EIVA Offensive Player of the Week, combined for 24 kills and seven digs, posting a .340 hitting percentage on 47 swings.
Redshirt junior Raymond Kowalski, who was recently named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week, notched 15 kills in the win, recording eight digs and two block assists.
Setter Ricardo Whitaker piled up a match-best 44 assists while libero Shannon Heckman paced the Highlanders with 10 digs.
Middle Kevin Myren notched six total blocks (three solo, three assist) to go along with a .500 hitting percentage with four kills on six attempts.
The service ace category was even, 9-9, as Kowalski led the Highlanders with four followed by Goodridge, with two aces. Coker's Artur Cabral posted a match-best five aces followed by Luca Berger with three.
Coker's Joao Victor Santos was the lone Cobra notching double-figure kill totals with 11 followed by Gabriel Castro with nine. Setter Aleksa Bijelic added 30 assists while Gary Baker led the match with 11 digs.
Berger was the blocking leader in front of the net for Coker, combining for six blocks (four solo; two assists).
The first set, which saw nine ties and five lead changes, saw the Cobras rally back down, 19-21, and scored the final six-out-of-seven points, taking the first set, 25-23.
NJIT combined for a .500 team hitting percentage and got off to an early start, 13-8, in the second set, behind four consecutive points, resulting in a Coker timeout. The Highlanders held a comfortable lead through the remainder of the frame, knotting the match at 1-1 after a 25-18 victory.
The third set, which went back-and-forth, saw the Highlanders ahead six, 16-10, after an ace by Goodridge. The Cobras scored the next six-out-of-seven points, pulling within one of the visitors, 16-17, on an ace by Castro.
After a 19-19 tie, the Highlanders scored five straight, taking a 24-19 advantage on after a kill by Goodridge. Coker scored two points but NJIT's Goodridge put away the set, 25-21, with a kill, giving the Highlanders a 2-1 lead.
The final frame was played close throughout with seven ties and three lead changes. The visitors found themselves behind by two, 17-19, after four straight points by the Cobras, resulting in an NJIT timeout.
NJIT used a 6-2 run, pulling ahead of Coker, 23-21, after a Cobra attack error. Coker got a kill from Castro but it was NJIT's Goodridge and Kowalski who closed out the match with back-to-back kills for a 25-22 victory.
NJIT will continue its Spring Break trip and travel to Belmont, North Carolina on Wednesday to face Belmont Abbey at 2pm.