As the Fall semester headed toward the finish line, CCSU’s football, volleyball, and men’s cross country teams contributed their own big finishes to the University with three conference titles.
The Central Connecticut football team claimed its fifth Northeast Conference Championship with a 28-27 road victory at Duquesne on Nov. 11. Trailing 27-14 with under seven minutes to play, the Blue Devils scored the final 14 points of the game and claimed their first league title since the 2010 season.
The football team went on to win its eighth straight game on Nov. 18, beating Robert Morris 42-14 to move to 8-3 overall on the season and a perfect 6-0 in Northeast Conference play. The Blue Devils headed to the playoffs on Nov. 25 (after press time).
The Nov. 18 win marks the first time in school history that the Blue Devils have won eight straight games in a single season. Senior running back Cameron Nash hit 1,000 yards for the season, and junior quarterback Jacob Dolegala became the school’s all-time leading passer in the victory.
The CCSU Blue Devils’ men’s cross country team won its ninth consecutive Northeast Conference Championship on Oct. 28 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain. The 2017 NEC title marks the 14th conference championship for head coach Eric Blake ’02, including five track and field titles.
With this championship, the Blue Devils have broken the Northeast Conference record for the most consecutive team championships of any sport. The record has been held previously by Quinnipiac’s women’s cross country team from 2005 to 2012.
The Blue Devils saw four of their 10 runners finish in the top 10 led by junior Austin Trainor who finished as the runner-up with a time of 25:54.8.
Rookie Jonathan Gill, who placed 13th overall and turned in a time of 26:47, was named the 2017 NEC Freshman of the Year.
Claiming the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots in the final standings were CCSU junior Alex Norstrom, senior Ryan Hertzog, and sophomore Roberto Piotto. Norstrom crossed the finish line in 26:15.8, followed by Hertzog in 26:16.7, and Piotto in 26:16.9.
The volleyball team capped the regular season with a 3-2 win at Robert Morris on Nov. 11 in Northeast Conference action. Central won the match, taking sets with the scores of 25-19, 30-32, 26-28, 25-20, and 15-7. The game marked the fifth straight win for CCSU and 10th in the last 11 matches.
Freshman Samantha McCreath led CCSU with 17 kills and 23 digs, and senior Maddie Smith had a team-high seven total blocks. Sophomore Madelyn Kaprelyan had 16 kills and sophomore Morgan Woycik added 10 kills.
CCSU concluded its 2017 campaign on Nov. 18, when the Blue Devils fell to LIU Brooklyn. Sophomore Madelyn Kaprelyan led CCSU with 18 kills, followed by sophomore Erin McDermott with 28 assists.
The team finished the season with an overall record of 19-8 and a share of the 2017 NEC regular season title with a conference record of 11-3.
— Focus staff