John Bray, Staff Writer
Last weekend, Ladies volleyball hosted Hiram College (Hiram, Ohio) and Otterbein University (Westerville, Ohio) in a tri-meet. While the final outcome did not fall in the Ladies’ favor, the team gave their two tough opponents all they could muster.
The Ladies kicked the tri-meet off on Saturday against the Hiram Terriers. The Ladies dropped the first set 10-25, before winning the second set 25-22. The Terriers closed out the match by capturing the final two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-14. First years Tierney McClure and Lauren Kerr played outstandingly in their first home matches of their collegiate careers. The dynamic duo crushed the Terriers for a combined 23 kills. McClure also added 14 digs.
“Being able to take the second game off of them showed us, and the rest of our league, how improved we are this year,” said Co-Captain Hannah Shank ’15.
The Ladies’ match with Otterbein came down to the final point. The Ladies channeled the enthusiasm from the home crowd and won the first set 25-19. After Otterbein took the second set 25-13, the Ladies refused to let another set away from them, and won the third set 25-18. When the Ladies had a chance to clinch the match, Otterbein forced the deciding fifth set with a 25-16 win. The final set went back and forth, with neither team gaining control. Though Otterbein eventually took the set and match with a score of 16-14, Jensen Shurbert ’18 did a little bit of everything for the Ladies, tallying eight kills, 15 assists and five digs.
This was the second time this season that the Ladies faced Otterbein; in their first meeting, the Ladies lost in three straight sets.
“We wanted to show them, and show ourselves, how much we have improved over the season thus far,” Shank said. “And we definitely did. We played well in both games this weekend, but the added desire for redemption helped fuel us for our Otterbein match.”
She said new coach Amanda Krampf and her staff have done a great job pushing the Ladies during practice and fostering a competitive environment. Shank also credited Krampf for the team’s improvement.
“One of our team goals at the beginning of the season was to never stop getting better, and I believe that we have followed that goal,” Shank said. “Our coaches push us every day in the gym to get better. The gym is much more competitive now than it was at the beginning of the season, and that reflects on our performance in games.”
In the coming weeks, the Ladies will travel to Ohio, Indiana and New Jersey, and their next home match is not until Oct. 15.
“The crowd’s energy and excitement definitely pumps us up on the court,” Shank said. “I hope that they will come to the rest of our home games.”