Today: Apr 21, 2024

Volleyball clinches spot in NE-10 tournament

PAT LONGOBARDISports Writer

In many instances this season, the SCSU volleyball team has shown they can go on dominant runs and hang around with the top teams on their schedule.

Now is the time when that skill set becomes all the more important.

The Owls held on at the end as they sit with a 19-10 overall record and 8-7 in the Northeast-10 Conference, good for the seventh seed as they approach the conference tournament for the second time in school history. The Owls are also ranked No. 10 in the NCAA Division II East regional poll.

SCSU head coach Lisa Barbaro, in her eighth season, said the team is ready and has been focused on getting to this point all season.

“We are pumped up with whoever we face,” Barbaro said. “We just need to play hard and together. They’re responding to the challenge—they’ve been aiming for this goal.”

The Owls have rebuilt this season after falling just one spot short of making the conference tournament with a 7-8 record last year.

Junior setter and team captain Kimberly Lachowicz said the team had been really focused on this stretch of games and overcoming the team’s small slump.

“It has been a solid season,” she said. “We have had our ups and downs. We definitely came out like a team.”

The Owls have pieces in place so everyone on the floor can contribute for a point on any given night.

Barbaro said the focus is just to take this one game at a time and to continue to stay focused.

“We need to prepare as much as possible,” Barbaro said. “We need to be in good spirits that the ninth win will without a doubt puts us in the postseason.”

Sophomore Sarah Beres leads the team in kills (310) and blocks (107). Junior Vanessa Sullivan has 459 digs. Junior Kimberly Lachowicz leads the team with 1,049 assists. Senior Megan Lyons leads in total attacks at 871.

As the regular season winds down and the team looks to the postseason, the Owls have had to battle with some weather obstacles to start and end the regular season.

“First, we had Irene in the preseason, and we missed the preseason,” she said. “Now, we had the snow. You don’t want to miss the preseason, but, it hasn’t slowed us down.”

Aside from the snow, the Owls ended the regular season with three road games, which have factored into their recent slump.

“It’s definitely a lot more difficult (on the road),” Lachowicz said. “You know, being on a bus for seven-and-a-half hours, but, it says a lot about the team.”

Once the season comes to an end, the Owls will take another positive step forward when they will post their fourth consecutive winning season.

“It starts from having seven freshman and seven returning players,” said Megan Lyons.

“We mesh together as a team. We did well. We need to come to come together as team. If we play like we are capable of, amazing things can happen.”


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