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NJIT Wins Fifth Straight; Blanks Charleston (W. Va.) in EIVA Action

NJIT Wins Fifth Straight; Blanks Charleston (W. Va.) in EIVA Action

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The NJIT men's volleyball team won its fifth consecutive match of the season, blanking Charleston (W. Va.), 3-0, Friday evening in EIVA Conference men's volleyball action at Wehrle Arena.

NJIT, which has won the last seven-out-of-eight matches this season, improves to 12-7 on the season, 5-3 in EIVA while Charleston drop to 10-11 overall, 0-8 in the EIVA.

The Highlanders five straight wins is one shy NJIT's longest win streak set last season (2016), when NJIT won six straight (March 8 to April 1).

The 12 wins for NJIT matches the highest win total for the Highlanders in the last five seasons (12 wins in 2012). NJIT last won 13 matches in 2008, when the Highlanders advanced to the EIVA semifinals.

NJIT won in straight sets – 25-15, 25-17 and 25-23, paced by redshirt junior Raymond Kowalski's match-best 12 kills. Senior outside hitter Jabarry Goodridge followed with eight kills while freshman middle Luke Allmond was efficient with a .444 hitting percentage, combining for five kills on nine attempts with just one error.

Setter Ricardo Whitaker recorded 26 assists and five digs while Goodridge led the Highlanders with 10 digs followed by senior Brad Thele and libero Shannon Heckman with six each.

Allmond was the match-leader with five total blocks (two solo, three assists) and Kowalski combined for three service aces followed by Goodridge with two, to lead the Highlanders with a 7-to-1 advantage in the service ace category.

Charleston's Ryan Santos led the Golden Eagles with 11 kills. Setter Anthony Rivera notched a match-best 27 assists while libero Darrin DePellegrini dug-up a match-high 11 digs.

The Highlanders, which hit .429 in the first set, came out on fire, taking a 10-3 lead and pushed its advantage to 20-12, as the visitors cruised to a 25-15 victory.

NJIT picked up where they left off in the first set, hitting an impressive .435 in the second frame, and held a six-point advantage late in the set, 21-15, after a kill by redshirt senior middle Luke Robbe. The Highlanders closed out the set on a 4-2 run, to go up, 2-0, with a 25-17 win.

In the third frame, the closest of the three sets, the Highlanders found themselves down, 0-3, but bounced back and went ahead 7-6 on a Golden Eagle attacking error. Charleston kept the Highlanders within reach through the late-teens but after a 22 all tie, the Highlanders went on a 3-1 spurt to close out the match with a 25-23 victory.

The two teams will square off on Saturday at 3pm.