The Red Flash came back to take the first set by a 27-25 margin, Long Island responded with wins in each of the next two sets. Saint Francis rallied in the fourth frame for a 25-22 win to set up a fifth-set showdown.
The deciding frame was tied at 7-7 before Long Island saw sophomore Hanna Gibeau and junior Jessica Rice tallied back-to-back kills. A Red Flash error put the Blackbirds up 10-7, a lead they would not relinquish. A pair of kills pulled Saint Francis back to within a point but Long Island responded with five of the next seven points to capture the match with a 15-11 win.
Gibeau led all players with 20 kills, adding 11 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Freshman Annika Foit turned in her sixth double-double of the year with 18 kills and a match-high 13 digs. Classmate Vera Djuric registered her fifth straight double-double, and ninth overall, with 57 assists and 10 digs.
The Blackbirds outhit Saint Francis by a 65-60 margin and swung at a .252 clip for the match. The Red Flash (8-19, 3-9 Northeast Conference) hit .164 and were paced by 17 kills from Elizabeth Williams.
A trio of Long Island University volleyball players were honored when the Northeast Conference announced its weekly installment of in-season awards. Sophomore Hanna Gibeau was named Molten/NEC Player of the Week for the third time this season, while freshman Vera Djuric picked up Molten/NEC Rookie of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. In addition, junior Jessica Rice garnered her second Molten/NEC Defensive Player of the Week honor.
Gibeau averaged 4.62 kills and 2.00 digs per set as the Blackbirds won three NEC matches this week.
Djuric saw the Blackbirds hit .261for the week in the three wins that helped them maintain their hold on first place. Djuric tallied double-doubles in each match to give her nine for the season and she has recorded a double-double in her last five matches.
Rice averaged 1.38 blocks per set for the Blackbirds, who have won six straight and 12 out of 13. For the week, she averaged 2.15 kills per set.
Long Island (17-11, 11-1 NEC) will host Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, November 5, at noon.