NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Hitting a combined .464 for the tournament as a team and led by Tournament MVP Simaima Fukofuka (Garden Grove, Calif.), regular season champion and top seed The College of New Rochelle defeated No. 3 seed Pratt Institute in straight sets to claim the 2017 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women's volleyball championship on Saturday evening at the CNR Wellness Center.
The Blue Angels (20-10, 4-0 HVIAC) capture their fifth-straight HVIAC title and seventh overall without dropping a set in completing an unblemished campaign against league opposition. The victory also extends CNR’s win streak in league and tournament play to 29 matches dating back to the 2013 season.
Fukofuka scored a tournament-best 33 points with 13 kills, 16 aces and six blocks (two solo). In the title game, she hit a blistering .889 pounding eight kills on nine error-free swings also added six aces and three blocks.
The semifinals saw the hosts quickly bypass No. 4 King's College (5-11, 1-3 HVIAC) in straight sets with Fukofuka pacing the offense with a match-high 10 aces along with five kills. The second semifinal saw No. 3 Pratt Institute (11-11, 2-2 HVIAC) avenge a five-set regular-season defeat to No. 2 Davis College (9-6, 2-2 HVIAC) with a straight-set victory to set up a rematch of the 2016 title game.
New Rochelle hit over .600 in the first two sets to overwhelm Pratt with big early leads. Pratt managed to find some momentum in the third and pulled even at 10-all before the Blue Angels peeled off four straight points and never let the Cannoneers closer than three to complete the sweep.
Sophomore Imani DeBose (Carson, Calif.) led the attack with a match-best 12 kills, maintaining a .625 hitting percentage. Melanie Ann Lopez Soto (Gurabo, P.R.) directed the offense to a .500 hitting effort with 20 assists. Freshman Emelen Mikelic (Grand Rapids, Mich.) paced the Cannoneers in defeat slamming 11 kills with two aces.
2017 HVIAC Women's Volleyball Championships
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2016
Site: The College of New Rochelle
#1 New Rochelle def. #2 Pratt, 3-0 (25-7, 25-12, 25-15) | Box
Simaima Fukofuka | New Rochelle | So. | Middle Blocker | Garden Grove, Calif.
Regular Season & Tournament Champions
The College of New Rochelle