Volleyball: Attackers lead come-from-behind wins

Volleyball: Attackers lead come-from-behind wins

By Jewel Della Valle

Comeback wins haven’t been familiar to the Northeastern volleyball team this season, but the Huskies pulled off two last weekend against Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponents on the road.

The Huskies fell behind two games to none in matches against Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) and William ‘ Mary Friday and Saturday, respectively, only to storm back in the following three games for match victories.

Head coach Ken Nichols said he cannot remember a team coming back from a two-game deficit in back-to-back matches on the road in his 10 years as a coach.

“It was just a remarkable accomplishment in terms of confidence and reassuring [the players] that we can not only play with anybody in our conference but come back from any kind of deficit,” Nichols said.

Despite the achievements, senior co-captain Ashley Reeves said the matches were “like a heart attack.”

“It’s way too much stress,” Reeves said. “It’s so much easier to play consistently. … To lose the first two and then the rest of the match being must-win is way too difficult.”

Sophomore middle hitter Brittany Eukovich headed the comeback against defending CAA Champions and preseason favorites VCU Friday (24-30, 26-30, 30-27, 30-28, 16-14). She racked up a match-high .438 hitting percentage with eight kills and four block assists.

The match win was a team effort. Sophomore middle hitter Lauren DeTurk led the Huskies with 12 kills, while five other teammates recorded five or more. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Stein added eight kills and a .389 hitting percentage.

Junior outside hitter Kira Batura showed her versatility on offense and defense with nine kills and a team-leading 19 digs. Senior setter Ivana Pavlisin led the Huskies with 24 assists.

“We just played with heart,” Batura said. “We wanted it and even if we were down two games we weren’t going to let that stop us. … It was a good fight.”

Riding the momentum from the previous game, the Huskies made history repeat itself after falling behind 2-0 against William ‘ Mary Saturday. Northeastern lost the first two games 26-30 and 28-30, but came back and beat the Tribe in extra points 33-31 in game three and took the next two (30-20, 15-13) for a victory.

Batura showed off her versatility once again, posting a double-double with 17 kills and a team-high 23 digs. Eukovich continued to dominate as well, pounding out 10 kills and another outstanding match-high .476 hitting percentage. Eukovich’s stellar weekend earned her CAA Co-Player of the Week honors.

Eukovich was a 2004 America East All-Rookie team selection before redshirting last season.

Pavlisin, to go along with five service aces and a .970 serving percentage, totaled 38 assists, while freshman setter Jessica Tkachuk had 30.

Nichols said the pivotal turning points in both matches came late in the third games after tough calls from referees.

He said the team responded “remarkably well” after questionable calls and showed their resilience in what seemed like an impossible situation.

“When you’re late in the third game and you’re battling to essentially keep the match alive

Leave a Reply