Ladies volleyball had a busy weekend, defeating Muskingum University (New Concord, Ohio) on Friday night before losing a home match against fellow North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) team DePauw University on Saturday. With their 1-1 week, the Ladies’ record stands at 9-10 with six matches remaining in the regular season.
Facing Muskingum, the Ladies played well, coming back from several early scoring holes on their way to a 3-1 victory. In the first set, the Fighting Muskies roared out to a 20-15 lead before the Ladies fought back with an 11-4 run to claim one-set lead in spectacular fashion. Muskingum responded in the next set, playing strong defense to win 25-16. After the Ladies claimed the third set to position themselves on the verge of their ninth win of the season, Muskingum refused to back down in the fourth match, opening with strong play that led to a 6-2 lead. Continuing the trend of the night, the Ladies fought back to tie the score at 22 before Delaney Swanson ’19 put the match on ice with her 20th kill of the night, giving the Ladies a lead they did not give up. Swanson got plenty of help from her teammates, with Jensen Shurbert ’18 contributing 42 assists and Lauren Kerr ’18 and Schuyler Stupica ’19 combining for nine blocks on the defensive end.
The Ladies got a taste of their own medicine, against conference foe DePauw, squandering several leads in a 3-1 defeat at home. The Ladies took a 24-23 lead in each of their first three sets, but only claimed one of them. The fourth set brought a different narrative, with DePauw claiming the set and match with a 25-18 win. Tierney McClure ’18 had a personal season high 18 kills.
Despite the loss to DePauw, Head Coach Amanda Krampf considered the past week the Ladies’ strongest performance to date. “One of our team goals this season has been to consistently improve with every week and every match,” Krampf said. “Specifically, we have focused on our mental game and staying consistent throughout the season, and this week the Ladies stayed strong through both difficult matches.”
Although the Ladies’ current record of 9-10 signals a vast improvement over last season, when the team played to a 6-24 overall record, their success has yet to translate to NCAC play, in which the Ladies are 0-5. The team’s underwhelming NCAC record puts pressure on them to perform in their next three games, all against NCAC opponents. The Ladies need to win against either Allegheny College or the College of Wooster to have a shot at making the NCAC tournament.
The team next plays against nationally sixth-ranked Wittenberg University tonight at home before hosting Allegheny on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the 2015 Dig Pink Match. In preparation for that match, the team has been selling pink cups, bumper stickers and raffle tickets in the Peirce Hall atrium in support of breast cancer awareness and research.