Today: May 29, 2024

Volleyball team off to 4-1 start, wins home opener

Ryan Flynn – Sports Editor –
The Owls Volleyball team did not take their season opener lightly. Playing at home, they took care of business against Post University in straight sets Thursday night, winning 25-16, 25-13 and 25-22 in their first game of the season at Pelz Gymnasium.Junior Sarah Beres led all players with 12 kills while also posting 7 digs and 2 blocks. Lauren McVey had 10 kills of her own and 15 digs. Setter Kimberly Lachowicz tallied 33 assists, which was 16 more than the entire Post team.

“It was a great start,” Beres said. “Everyone played really good. We got to gel together as a team a little bit. Everyone got some playing time, so it was awesome. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season to see what we can do.”

The opening set was close early on, tied at 8-8 before Southern made its first run. The Owls jumped out to a 17-9 lead from there and didn’t look back, claiming the first set 25-16 on a ball hit out of bounds by Post.

The second set was very similar, with the Owls winning 25-13.

“We just tried to get everything up and not let anything hit the ground,” junior Jade Black said. “And we tried to push everything to the side to make them make a mistake.”

Black is one of the new additions to the team. A junior transfer student from Iowa Lakes Community College, Black brings two years of college experience to her new team.

“She adds a tremendous amount of athleticism to our team,” head coach Lisa Barbaro said. “She’s great defensively and she’s a very smart player. I think Jade’s adjusting well and is going to have a great year.”

Post rallied in the third set, opening on an 8-2 run. After a Southern timeout, the Owls returned to form and went on an 8-2 run of their own to tie the set 10-10. The set was tight from then on out, with Southern eking out a 25-22 win on a kill by Lauren McVey.

“I’m really pleased with today,” said Barbaro. “I think that we did a lot of good things as well as also saw the things that we still need to continue to work on.”

It was the first start for Beres on the right side, after playing her first two years primarily as a middle blocker. Beres, who is returning from shoulder surgery last year, said she is fully recovered. She led the team last season with 325 kills.

Coach Barbaro said she is “not one hundred percent sold yet” on this being Beres’s set position. She described the thinking behind the position switch.

“Honestly, it was just to kind of keep her on the floor as much as possible,” Barbaro said. “The biggest thing was we get the big block out of her on the right side. She swings great from the right side and I like the option of her being over there with the back row attack. I think that adds another element to our game.”

 AIC TOURNAMENT

Over the weekend, the team took to the road for the AIC Labor Day Tournament. After falling 3-1 to Nyack College, the Owls swept their remaining games.

The team first defeated Queen’s College 3-1 before winning in straight sets against Concordia College: 3-0. They again claimed a 3-1 victory over Georgia Court University

The Owls, who are now 4-1, will next return home to host Felician College on Wednesday September 5, at Pelz Gymnasium at 7 p.m.

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