The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds extended their Northeast Conference winning streak to an amazing 30 games and officially clinched a spot in the playoffs as they beat Robert Morris 3-sets-to-1 (24-26, 25-14, 25-8, 25-18) at home on Sunday.
“It’s a big accomplishment for the school,” Adriana Vinas Joy said of extending the winning streak to 30 games. “We just want to keep winning so we can make that winning streak higher and higher. Eventually we’d like to make history.”
Robert Morris looked determined to come out strong against the Blackbirds and they did exactly that as it grabbed a 1-0 lead with a strong block and eventually had a 6-2 lead. The Blackbirds came back to take an 19-16 lead, but Robert Morris would eventually tie it at 19-19 and managed to hang in there to win the set. It’s the first time they trailed in a NEC match since September.
That was the first time the Blackbirds trailed in a NEC match since September. Robert Morris challenged them in the second set as well and hung in there until it was 14-12 LIU, but they pulled away after that thanks to a 11-2 run to finish the set with a 25-14 win.
It was only down hill for Robert Morris from there as the Blackbirds held them to just six kills and eight points in the third set. At one point they had a nice 9-0 run with the help of a couple of service aces from Vinas Joy. LIU Brooklyn once again made quick work of Robert Morris in the fourth set as they grabbed a 15-9 lead an closed it out on a 5-1 run.
“We’ve got kids that are committed to winning and the way we’re winning has been good,” Blackbirds’ coach Kyle Robinson said. “That’s a good team over there in Robert Morris and they fought us hard. It’s everything to be putting up big numbers like we are. LIU Brooklyn is a little school compared to some of these huge schools that we go up against.”
Annika Foit led the match with 17 kills, Vera Djuric had 57 assists and Vinas Joy had 17 digs. Tamara Ignjic had six blocks and Jessica Rice, Nicole Okeke and Djuric each had five.
Since it was senior day, Rice, a sixth year grad student, was honored by the team. The three-time captain has the Blackbird record for blocks in a single season, 164, and career blocks, 481 and counting.
The Blackbirds have two more matches this season against Central Connecticut and Bryant. A win against Central Connecticut on Saturday, Nov. 16 would give them the No. 1 seed in the NEC and home court advantage in the playoffs.