Today: Apr 14, 2024

Volleyball falls again

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer

Cheers from the crowd turned to utter silence during the second set of the Owls (14-4) volleyball game Tuesday night at Pelz Gymnasium, as junior outside hitter Lauren McVey sustained an ankle injury that sidelined her for the rest of the match, a 3-1 loss to Assumption College.

“That’s a big injury,” said Owls head coach Lisa Barbaro. “She’s been having some phenomenal offensive performances, and in the last week or so she’s been very dominate for us on the outside. It really hurts to have her out, and we’ve got to get her back as healthy as possible—hopefully soon.”

Photo Courtesy | Jake Grubman
Jade Black and teammates attempting a block at the net.

McVey, who went into Tuesday night’s game against Assumption ranked second on the team with 197 digs, managed to add nine more to that total (which was the second most of the night for the Owls behind junior outside hitter Jade Black).

Despite losing McVey, the Owls matched Assumption’s first set victory 25-23 to claim the second set. It was the only set the Owls won the whole night.

“They were a very good team and a very scrappy team. They outplayed us the whole night,” said junior middle blocker/outside hitter Sarah Beres.

Assumption proceeded to defeat Southern in the final two sets 25-20 and 25-17. Owl’s senior setter Kimberly Lachowicz said McVey’s absence was a huge factor in the team’s loss.

“She brings a certain energy to the court,” Lachowicz said. “We were missing that tonight, and

“She brings a certain energy to the court,” Lachowicz said. “We were missing that tonight, and we’ll be grateful to get her back soon.”

Assumption finished the match with a total of 59 kills, 141 team attacks and 64 digs, while Southern posted 40 kills, 133 team attacks and 56 digs. Barbaro said the Owls’ play was uncharacteristic for her team.

“Assumption played a great match tonight,” Barbaro said. “I thought they came out ready to play and executed very well. We didn’t really stick to our game plan and made a lot of mistakes. We didn’t really play together tonight as much as a team.”

Prior to their defeat against USciences, the Owls tied the single season winning streak record with 13 straight victories. The last time this was accomplished was in 2007. Despite dropping two in a row and eventually a third, Barbaro said she’s confident that her team can bounce back into another lengthy winning streak.

“I think that the girls have been working hard in practice to gel and play better together,” Barbaro said. “We’ve been executing and following game plans pretty well and made adjustments to our block. The last two matches against USP and today, we didn’t do that. We stopped executing our game plan and kinda got off track. We’ve started to make a lot of our own mistakes, and our timing has been off blocking-wise. We haven’t been playing our game and we have to get back to that.”

Photo Courtesy | Southernctowls.com
Senior setter Kimberly Lachowicz setting up her teammates in their 3-1 loss to Assumption last Tuesday. The team is now 14-4.

In the last three games, Southern has been out-blocked 31.5-26. In the final set against Assumption, the Owls saw several blocking attempts land out of bounds. Lachowicz said after the game the team must better themselves in that aspect of the game.

“The results show that we didn’t execute what we had to,” Lachowicz said. “It’s very frustrating. Blocking is obviously not one of our strong suits this season, and normally it is. We’re just trying to work hard and get back to being a good blocking team.”

In the following game against Stonehill, the Owls again fell, this time in straight sets: 25-23, 25-18, 27-25. This is the team’s third straight loss, following their 13 game winning streak.

The team will play an away game at UNH on Tuesday before returning home for home tilts against Southern New Hampshire University this Saturday at noon and Le Moyne this Sunday at 2 p.m.

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