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Volleyball team downs Rutgers

Earlier in the week, head coach Claire Lessinger said she wanted her team to have a dominating performance against Rutgers. In the first two sets of Friday’s game, her team did just that.

“I thought in the first two sets we were very crisp,” Lessinger said. “We worked on some new offensive plays and I thought we ran our offense consistently.”

On Friday night, the Bulls completed a five-game home stand with a straight-set win over the Scarlet Knights, closing the team’s home stand with a 4-1 record. Friday’s win was the third consecutive victory for the Bulls and improved their record to 15-8, 5-3 in the Big East.

Junior outside hitter Marcela Gurgel led the Bulls with 11 kills, 13 digs and four aces. Senior middle blocker Nakia Williams also had 11 kills.

Williams said Friday’s win was very important.

“It helped us move up in the Big East standings and gave us some momentum going into our next matches,” she said.

Another major contributor to the victory was junior middle blocker Alli Arbogast. Arbogast had a season-high nine block assists and Lessinger was impressed by her performance.

“I think we really turned the match around with our blocking,” Lessinger said. “Arbogast just went off tonight blocking-wise and had a really good setup on the right side.

Arbogast said her teammates were responsible for her big game.

“It was an awesome night to block,” she said. “Nakia and (sophomore setter) Marianna (Thon) did a great job setting up the angles, which allowed me to have a great night blocking.”

The Bulls will travel to Cincinnati and Louisville next weekend. Overall, Lessinger said she is pleased with the team’s performance at home and hopes for the same results on the road.

“It’s very important to pick up wins at home, Lessinger said. “We have a real tough road trip ahead of us, but I think we got better tonight and we’ll give it our best shot when we hit the road.”