Cortland volleyball defeats RIT to open Rochester tournament

Sarah Piacentini led Cortland with 10 digs (Darl Zehr Photography)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Nadia Moore (Durham, NC/Durham School of the Arts) led a balanced attack with seven kills and shared the team lead with three blocks as the Cortland women's volleyball team defeated RIT in four sets, 25-14, 25-23, 17-25, 25-16, to open action at the University of Rochester New York Regional Challenge.

Cortland (13-14) will face Clarkson Saturday at 10:30 a.m., followed by NYU at 12:30 p.m., to finish its predetermined schedule. The tournament features 10 schools - eight from New York and two from New Jersey - each playing three matches on the weekend.

A total of 19 Red Dragons saw action in the match versus the Tigers. In addition to Moore's totals, Valerie Fischer (Williston Park/Mineola) recorded six kills, while Courtney Silberer (Centerach) and Jessica Allen (Syracuse/West Genesee) had five kills each. Silberer also served three aces. Allen and Amanda May (Bladwinsville/C.W. Baker) matched Moore with three blocks apiece.

Gabby Amelio (Pine Bush) finished with six of Cortland's 14 aces and also totaled 25 assists. Sarah Piacentini (Webster/Webster Schroeder) led the team with 10 digs, followed by Moore with nine.

Sara Taylor led RIT (13-17) with 17 kills. Taylor Higgins and Joelle Marston finished with nine kills each and Erin Parkinson amassed 34 assists, three aces and 11 digs.

Cortland opened up a 15-5 lead on the way to its first set victory. The Red Dragons led 17-13 in the second set, only to have RIT come back and eventually go up 23-20. Cortland, however, scored the final five points of the set, two on kills by Allen, to take a two-set lead.

RIT slowly pulled away in the third set, extending a 7-4 lead to 12-8 and eventually 19-12 on the way to its 25-17 decision. Cortland grabbed control early in the fourth by winning eight of the first nine points, then used another 8-1 run to extend a 12-8 lead to 20-9. The Tigers made one last push back to within 21-15, but Cortland finished on a 5-1 streak, capped by an Allen kill and a combined block from Allen and Amelio.