Leopards Fall in Five-Set Thriller
Oct. 4, 2013
Newark, N.J. – Lafayette fell to NJIT in a five set thriller on Friday night. The Leopards dropped to 8-7, while the Highlanders improved to 5-10. NJIT took the final two sets by a combined four points to steal the win from the Maroon and White.
The Leopards jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the first set on a pair of kills from Jet Manzi and a kill from Brianne Giangiobbe. Lafayette increased the lead to 14-9 on two kills from Katy Rooney and another from Molly Belcher. NJIT cut the Leopard lead to 21-17, but Lafayette took the next four points, courtesy of two Giangiobbe kills, to win set one, 25-17.
Down early in the second set, 8-5, the Leopards battled back to tie the score at eight on a block by Belcher and Danielle Towslee. NJIT came right back and regained its lead, 12-9, forcing a Lafayette timeout. The Leopards trimmed the 15-14 thanks to a block by Towslee and Manzi, a kill from Giangiobbe and an ace by Lauren Pisauro.
Lafayette and NJIT battled back and forth as the Leopards tied the score at 18. NJIT took four of the next five to build a 22-19 lead. Out of a Lafayette timeout, Giangiobbe smashed a kill and the Leopards cut the lead to one, 22-21. The Highlanders went on to win three of the next four points to take set two, 25-22.
Tied at seven in the third set, the Leopards took control of the game with a four-point run powered by a Belcher ace and a pair of kills from Giangiobbe. NJIT fought to get back into the set, but Lafayette was able to hold off the attack and take set three, 25-20.
The Leopards and Highlanders battled in the fourth set, as neither team was able to build more than a two-point advantage, as Lafayette took a 22-20 advantage on kills from Belcher and Ciliento. NJIT took three of the next four to tie the fourth set at 23. After a Lafayette timeout, the Highlanders won the next two points to take set four, 25-23.
In the final set, Lafayette opened a 4-0 lead out of the gate, with Giangiobbe and Towslee teaming up for a pair of blocks. NJIT climbed back into the set, and took the lead 9-8. Down 12-3, the Leopards won the next three points on a pair of kills by Manzi to tie the set at 12. Giangiobbe smashed two kills to tie the score at 13 and again at 14. NJIT took the next two points to win the final set, 16-14 and the match, 3-2.
Lafayette was led by Karissa Ciliento and Brianne Giangiobbe’s 11 kills apiece. Danielle Towslee had eight kills and a team-high six blocks, while Molly Belcher handed out 34 assists. Lauren Pisauro finished with 26 digs and two aces for the Leopards.
The Leopards resume Patriot League play on Sunday afternoon when they host Bucknell at 2 p.m. Lafayette hits the road on October 11 and 12, as the Maroon and White visit Army and Holy Cross.