Morales' Strong Rookie Debut Not Enough as Women’s Volleyball Swept in Staten Island

Photo courtesy of CSI Sports Information
Photo courtesy of CSI Sports Information

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Rookie Cristina Morales (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) and junior Briana Marrazzo (East Elmhurst, N.Y./St. John's Prep) both recorded double-double efforts in their season opener, but the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's volleyball team (0-2) dropped both ends of a non-conference tri-match in straight sets to the College of Staten Island (2-0) and Cairn University (1-1) on Saturday afternoon.

Staten Island 3, St. Joseph's 0 (25-12, 27-25, 25-19)

The Bears jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead in the opening set before an 11-0 spurt by the Dolphins put the frame out of reach.

A tightly contested second stanza found both teams separated by three or fewer points nearly the entire set. The Bears trailed 24-22 and faced two CSI set points, before rallying with a pair of kills by Briana Marrazzo sandwiched around a kill by Rory Kirk (Rockaway Beach, N.Y./Mary Louis Academy) brought a chance for the Bears to level the match at 1-set all. But a Jay-La Guy kill erased the SJC set point and two Bear miscues had the hosts take the frame 27-25.

Slow to recover from the missed opportunity, the navy and white fell behind 7-1 in the third set before rattling off seven straight points to take the lead. But after a CSI timeout to stop the Bear run, the Dolphins rattled off seven straight and never trailed again.

Cristina Morales finished with 12 kills and 10 digs to record a double-double in her first collegiate match. Veteran Briana Marrazzo hit an effective .471 (10-2-17) and led the defense with 16 digs to also notch a double-double. Kayla Ostermann (Glendale, N.Y./Queens Metropolitan) handed out 22 assists.

Cairn 3, St. Joseph's 0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-18)

Both squads hit at a torrid pace in the opening set hitting a combined .412 but the Highlanders slammed 18 kills at a .485 clip to narrowly take the opening set winning three of the final four points after being deadlocked at 22-all.

SJC built an 18-12 lead in the second stanza before a 7-1 spurt allowed Cairn to level the set at 20-all. Knotted at 21-all and 22-all, the Highlanders pulled away late once again to jump ahead two sets to none.

In the third, the Bears cut an early 7-2 disadvantage to one, 16-15, on a block by Ostermann and Marrazzo, but SJC would never lead in the 25-18 closing set.

Morales paced the Bears attack with 13 kills against just three errors for a .370 swing rate and brought up seven digs. Marrazzo landed eight kills and three aces, while also bringing up seven digs. Valentina Urgo (Astoria, N.Y./St. John's Prep) helped anchor the defense with a team-best 14 digs.

Also for the Bears

  • Freshman Makayla Beehler (Rockaway Beach, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) contributed five kills, nine digs and a pair of aces against Cairn.
  • Rookie Cristina Morales totaled 25 kills on the afternoon while classmate Kayla Ostermann distributed 46 kills to lead the offense

Next Up

After a nine-day break, St. Joseph's returns to the court on Tuesday, September 11 to host John Jay College in their home opener at The Hill Center. First serve for the non-conference match is set for 6 p.m. with live stats and video at SJCBears.com.