South Bend, Ind. – The Roosevelt volleyball team and Olivet Nazarene squared off in an epic five-set affair to open the second CCAC Crossover Tournament of the 2012 season on Friday evening with the Tigers outlasting the Lakers 32-34, 25-22, 25-14, 32-34, 15-10 on the campus of IU South Bend.
The evenly-matched contest between the third-place teams in the CCAC North and South Division saw Roosevelt (19-15, 8-8) total 66 kills in the match, including a staggering 21 in the opening set. Olivet Nazarene (9-26, 8-8) finished one better with 67 kills, reaching double figures in kills in all five sets.
Sophomore Valerie Cutrone led the Lakers with 26 kills, while freshman Aleesha Cleaver set a new school single-match record with 60 assists, while also adding 15 kills for her fifth double-double of the year. Freshman Najoua Alioualla and sophomore Vanessa Owusu each totaled 15 kills in the loss with rookie libero Arielle Nausieda collecting a match-high 26 digs.
Becky DeRuiter paced the Tigers with 20 kills. Katherine Hozian finished with 15 kills, 16 digs and five blocks.
Roosevelt and Olivet Nazarene were tied at 22-22 in the opening set before the two sides traded the next 20 points until back-to-back kills from Owusu and Cutrone gave the Lakers a 34-32 victory. The Tigers won the next two sets and then owned a 7-0 lead in set four, but Roosevelt stormed back to eventually knot the score at 21-21. Then, just like in set one, the two sides began trading points until an ONU attack error and a kill by Cutrone gave the Lakers another 34-32 triumph. The Tigers jumped out to another early lead in the fifth set, and this time there was no coming back for the Lakers who dropped the set and the match, 15-10.
Roosevelt will conclude the CCAC Crossover Tournament on Saturday in South Bend, Ind., by taking on the host Titans and Purdue North Central.