Kean takes down Division 1 NJIT

Vahalla-Team_13-MP

Steve Vahalla, Cougars celebrate win

By Ryan Gaydos

The No. 12 Kean Cougars and the NJIT Highlanders went back and forth all match
long. The Highlanders took the first and the third games while the Cougars struck
back taking the second and fourth games. However, the Cougars were able to pull
off a 15-12 win in the fifth and deciding game to win the match 3-2 pulling off the
team’s first ever win against a Division I opponent in the program’s history.

Senior Steve Vahalla led the way for the Cougars with 17 kills and four aces.

“It was a huge win for us and this program as a whole,” Vahalla said. “The past three
years we have come close to beating a D1 team but we never pulled it out. It was a
great team effort tonight and we look forward to building on this win.”

Kyle Farley and Alex Barnhard also had huge points in the fifth game of the match
helping Kean to the eventual win. Farley finished with six kills and Blanhard with
four kills and 36 assists in the match.

“Tonight was a huge team win for us,” said Barnhard. “Everyone contributed and
played amazing. We really have to credit out fans though. It was the biggest and
loudest we ever had and they were a major factor in elevating our game. Hopefully
tonight starts the momentum for a very successful season.”

The Highlanders lost a heartbreaking 30-28 game and played a really close game
with one of the best teams in Division III volleyball. Herman Kantushov led the NJIT
with 16 kills in the match.

Nonetheless, the Cougars move to 2-2 on the season with the huge win Tuesday.
Kean takes on Ramapo and Yeshiva Sunday as Skyline Conference action gets
underway


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