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NU volleyball tops Rider for 5th straight win


LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – The Niagara Purple Eagles defeated the Rider Broncs in four sets on Sunday to extend their win streak to five matches.

Match Summary
Niagara showed great poised en route to its first win at Rider since 2012. After dropping the first set, the Purple Eagles won the next three sets.
Rider outlasted Niagara, 31-29, in the first set. Trailing 20-15, the Purple Eagles charged into the lead thanks to an 8-3 run. Niagara served for the match at 24-23 before a kill by Rider tied the set. From there, the teams exchanged points and staved off set points. With the score tied at 29-29, the Broncs scored two straight points to clinch the set.
NU held off Rider in the second set that went extra with the momentum seesawing with each point. Niagara had its largest lead of the set at 19-15 after a kill by Jada Carrol. However, the Broncs tied the set at 20-20. The Purple Eagles led 24-22, but quickly found themselves facing set point at 25-24. A kill by Carrol tied the set at 25-25. NU broke through at 28-28 when Draik Banksnotched a kill on an assists from Rachel Hall, and an attacking error by the Broncs wrapped up the set in favor of the Purple Eagles.
After two nail-biting sets, the Purple Eagles seized control of the match with a dominating third set. NU used a 4-0 spurt to break a 9-9 tie and eventually built an 18-12 lead. Niagara closed the set on a 7-2 run including scoring the last five points.
Niagara faced an early deficit in the fifth set. NU flipped an 11-7 Rider lead to a 15-13 advantage behind a strong defensive pressure. Rider briefly regained the lead at 18-17, but Niagara answered immediately with three straight points. The Purple Eagles held off the Broncs in the final stages. An attacking and serving error by Rider handed Niagara the final two points of the match.
Eagle's Eye On…

  • Niagara's five-match win streak is its longest since 2012.
  • The Purple Eagles are 2-0 in the MAAC for the second time in the last three seasons.
  • Three Purple Eagles had double-doubles – Nicole MatheisRachel Hall and Jaycie Roberts.
  • Nicole Matheis had a team-high 15 kills and had 15 digs for her team-leading fifth double-double; she also had three block assists.
  • Jaycie Roberts had 11 kills and 10 digs for her third double-double of the season.
  • Rachel Hall had her second double-double of the season with 24 assists and 13 digs.
  • Rylee Hunt had her second 30-plus digs match of the season with a match-high 36. She also added a season-high eight assists.
  • Meghan Higley had a career-high 20 assists and had eight digs.
  • Draik Banks and Jada Carrol each had 12 kills.

Coach's Corner

  • "That was a very scrappy Rider team, who's even tougher on their home court, which makes winning a conference match on the road even more gratifying. I thought our attackers Jada, Draik and Nicole had awesome matches, and Meghan and Rachel were outstanding in their distribution as setters." – head coach Vilis Ozols

Up Next

  • Niagara will play its first home matches of the 2017 season next weekend when the Purple Eagles host Marist on Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. and Siena on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.