The NJIT men’s volleyball team won for the fourth time in five starts in the young 2014 season, easily sweeping New Jersey City University (25-11, 25-21, 25-11) in non-conference action Friday night in the Fleisher Athletic Center.
NJIT used all 12 of its healthy players in at least two of the match’s three sets to sweep winless NJCU (0-6).
Jabarry Goodridge (9 kills) and Chris Kaepernick (7 kills) paced the attack for the winning Highlanders. Goodridge posted a .500 hitting percent, with the 9 kills and one error in 16 swings. Ryan Thomas notched kills on all four of his swings from the middle and Kajetan Borecki added four kills in six attempts without an error.
Zak Robben, who started the first set and was the team’s setter part way through the third set, led the Highlanders with 13 assists.
The Highlanders, who had a 7-0 lead in service aces, were led in that department by Raymond Kowalski and Luke Robbe with two each.
On defense, Kaepernick, Raphael Anthony, and starting libero Oren Zyndorf posted four digs apiece. The Highlanders had six team blocks with Goodridge accounting for one of two NJIT block solos and adding two block assists. Thomas had three block assists.
Sophomore Sheldon Coure led New Jersey City on the attack with 6 kills. NJCU senior captain and setter Gary Preston, Jr., led the match with 21 assists. Kendall Tribbett’s five digs were match-high for the Gothic Knights, while he and Coure each had a pair of block assists.
The Highlanders, who never trailed in either the first or third set, opened the match 9-1 and led by as many as 14 points, an advantage they achieved three different times, including at the end of the set, 25-11.
Four NJIT substitutes opened on the floor for the second set, which would be the closest of the night’s three frames, with five ties and three lead changes. Down 4-1 to begin, NJCU rallied and tied the score at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8, before a Goodridge kill put the Highlanders on top to stay, 9-8. The kill was part of a 5-1 spurt by the Highlanders, who eventually claimed a 19-13 lead.
However, the Gothic Knights fought back and closed to within two points of the lead at 19-21 and 20-22 before closed out the set, 3-1.
The match starters returned for NJIT to begin the third set and they won the first six points and were never threatened. Highlanders coach Ryan McNeil re-inserted his second-set starters part way through the third and they continued pulling away, hitting the 20th point with a 20-6 lead. The teams traded points the rest of the way, with Robbe, a freshman for the Highlanders, delivering match point on his first kill of the night.
Courtesy of NJIT Athletics