Bearcats Holds Onto First In BIG EAST With Sweep Of Syracuse|
Sept. 30, 2007
CINCINNATI---Senior Jenny Custer had a season-high 19 kills, leading Cincinnati to a sweep of Syracuse and the team's fifth straight win in BIG EAST action on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena. The 30-23, 30-20, 30-27 win keeps the Bearcats in a share for first place in the BIG EAST standings at 4-0. UC holds an overall mark of 12-4.
Custer had one of her top performances of the season, hitting .417 and coming just three kills shy of her career-high set last year against the same Syracuse team. Jessie Nevitt added 12 kills on .435 hitting, while Stephanie Niemer had 10. Libero Jaime Frey had a big day, finishing with 23 digs in three games, including 12 in game one alone.
The Bearcats were challenged at the beginning of game one, needing a 4-1 run to reclaim the lead for good at 12-9. After a kill by Sarah Morton brought Syracuse (10-8, 1-2 BIG EAST) to within 15-12, Cincinnati pulled away, scoring the next six points in row, with Nevitt contributing two kills and two blocks along the way. The Orange had one more push in their tank after falling behind 25-16, as they scored five straight to claw back within five. Consecutive kills by Custer helped the hosts regain a seven-point edge and after a Syracuse block, the senior dropped her eighth kill of the game to set up game point. After an Orange kill, Jessica Elley ended the frame with a kill for the 30-23 UC win.
Defense took over in game two as the Bearcats held the Orange to -.026 hitting in leading from start-to-finish. The Bearcats raced to a 7-1 lead, mostly due to six Syracuse miscues and later doubled up the Orange at 14-7. UC continued to cruise through the game, taking its first double digit lead at 27-17 when Nevitt buried a kill. Leading by nine and with game point, a Lindsey Peterson kill sent the Bearcats into the break up two games to none.
Despite holding the momentum, the Bearcats fell behind by a 9-3 score early in game three. UC still found itself in a six-point hole at 17-11, until it unleashed a 6-1 run to force a Syracuse timeout. Out of the break, all seven of the game's tie scores occurred with a kill by Custer snapping the last deadlock at 25. The Bearcats clawed within two points of ending the contest at 28-26, but had the lead cut in half on a kill by Hayley Todd. Custer answered with kill number 19 to set up match point and a shot by Kacie MacTavish went long on the next point, giving the Bearcats the 30-27 victory.
Syracuse was led by West Chester native Mindy Stanislovaitis who tallied a team-best 10 kills in her homecoming. UC was able to corral Cheryl Cobbina, ranked 10th in the BIG EAST in kills, holding her to seven on -.097 hitting. Morton led a Syracuse defense which finished with 14.5 team blocks with 11.
The Bearcats will take a brief pause from BIG EAST play, hosting Western Kentucky on Tuesday night. Action will get underway at 7:30 p.m.