Ryan Flynn – Sports Editor –
Another night, another straight-set win at home for Owls Volleyball. Southern (7-1) cruised through the first two sets and won a tight third to defeat Felician College 25-14, 25-14 and 25-21 at Pelz Gymnasium Wednesday night.
The quick start is certainly not unprecedented. Last year’s squad started the season with an identical 5-1 record.
“The leadership of the returning players I think that has been key,” head coach Lisa Barbaro said.
She refers to such players as Lauren McVey, who had six kills and 13 digs, and Sarah Beres, who added seven kills, four digs and a block. Junior transfer student Jade Black led all players with 12 kills.
“They made a lot of good plays but we played together as a team,” outside hitter McVey said. “We have to definitely speed up our offense and learn to play together a little bit more. We still have a lot of new girls, and we’re still kind of meshing. And I think the faster that we bring our offense the better that we can be as a team.”
After making short work of Felician in the opening two sets, the Owls opened up a 20-13 lead in the third. With outside hitter Beres on the bench, Felician began a run of its own, pulling to within three points at 20-18.
It was back and forth from there until a kill by sophomore Natasha Calbert finished Felician off 24-21. The underclassmen showed well, with all three freshmen receiving playing time.
“We have a lot of depth with the freshmen,” senior setter Kimberly Lachowicz said. “So that opens up a lot of different lineups and stuff that we can do.”
Lachowicz had another good night facilitating and setting up the offense, tallying 32 assists. She spoke about the mindset it takes to play setter.
“I’m not necessarily [always going for] assists but just looking for the right option to set and really seeing the other side of the net and what they’re doing so that it can open up the hitters,” Lachowicz said. “It’s more me opening up good spots for the hitters versus me getting points.”
“One opponent at a time,” Barbaro said. “We’re just staying focused on that. Right now, it’s just a matter of kind of reducing our mistakes and cleaning up our game and being able to execute game plans.”
The team took to the road over the weekend, sweeping their Saturday doubleheader in Rockville Centre, New York against Molloy College and Philadelphia University.
Both games were straight set victories, first a 25-19, 25-22, 25-14 win against Molloy. Sarah Beres led all players with 10 kills.
Next came Philadelphia, who played the Owls much closer. Southern prevailed 25-18, 25-22, 25-22.
Lauren McVey had a great weekend, with 22 kills and 24 digs between the two matches.
The team will next travel to Waltham, MA to face off against Bentley University on Tuesday night before travelling home to face Concordia back at Pelz Gymnasium at 7 p.m. Thursday night.