LEWISBURG, PA - Saint Peter's fell to NJIT in the first round of the Bucknell Invitational, falling 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 11-25, 18-25) Saturday afternoon in the Davis Gym.
"We had bright spots throughout the match," said head coach Amable Martinez. "The team is working hard to get better."
Freshman, Natalia Carbonell Torres, led the Peacocks with seven kills, Alexus Sharp added six kills and four blocks, while Kali Viles tallied six kills and a team high of 13 digs and five block assists. Wildalys Soto totaled 19 assists and Danielle Lopez followed with four kills and 10 digs.
Leaders for the Highlanders were Madi Busler with 15 kills, Emily Krachenfels posted 34 assists and eight digs, Alyssa Armada added 10 kills and Alahna Diaz added a team best of 19 digs.
The Peacocks got down early in the first set as they trailed NJIT 4-10. The Highlanders kept the strong lead for the next few plays, leading the Peacocks 16-11. A double play by Lopez followed by an error from NJIT put the Peacocks just two points behind, at 14-16. The Highlanders managed to increase their lead from 18-16 to 21-17. The Peacocks scored three more points before the Highlanders finished the set at 25-20.
The Peacocks got off to a good start as they led the Highlanders 5-1 in set two. NJIT was able to come back to tie the score at nine right before the Peacocks sealed a two-point lead at 11-9. Saint Peter's hit a five-point ru extending the lead over the Highlander's at 16-11. NJIT fought and scored five straight points to even the score at 16 forcing the Peacocks into a timeout. After the timeout the Highlanders kept the hot streak going adding three more points and taking a 19-16 lead. After getting the deficit to 23-21, the Peacocks reeled off four straight, taking set two, 25-23.
In the third set the Highlander's got the best of the Peacocks as they jump to a 20-8 lead. The Peacocks added three more points to the board as the NJIT finished the set with a 25-11 win.
In the final set the Peacocks picked up the energy leading the Highlanders midway at 12-10. The Peacocks scored five straight points increasing their lead to 17-10. The Peacocks were unable to hold the lead as the Highlanders broke away into a 13-point run, making it a 23-17. The Peacocks added one more point before the NJIT won the set 25-18.
The Peacocks will wrap up the Invitational on Sunday at 12pm as they face tournament hosts, the Bucknell Bison.