SCSU volleyball team takes loss at opening home game

Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer

It was the home opening game for Southern Connecticut’s volleyball team, as they ended up taking a tough 3-1 loss to Georgian Court University, last Thursday night in Pelz Gymnasium.

The loss now brings the lady Owls to 2-4 on the season, while the Lions improved to a 3-2 overall record.  

Despite the Owls loss, stellar performances from senior Kelly Gunneson and freshman Leanna Jadus, helped the owls avoid a 3-0 sweep.  

Gunneson led the team on offense with 16 kills, while still managing to put up seven digs and an assist. Jadus on the other hand, had a double-double performance with 14 kills and 11 digs, making it her fourth double-double of the season.

And with that stat line, there’s no reason to think why head coach, Lisa Barbaro, was pleased with her players performance on the court.   

“I was really pleased with Kelly Gunneson performance at the outside hitting position,” Barbaro said. “Overall, we just needed to pass the ball better and make better decisions from an attacking perspective.”

Although there were players with individual highlights, Coach Barbaro said that this is a team effort that requires everyone on the team to play their role. As with any coach, she was not pleased with the loss, adding that the Owls made costly errors throughout the game.  

“It wasn’t our best outing for us,” Barbaro said, “we weren’t passing the ball very well and gave up a lot of unearned points. We kept making a lot of mistakes that ended up costing us the game.”  

Yet, it was the Owls who had the early lead to go up 1-0 in the set, but just couldn’t manage to hold off the Lions from winning three straight from there.   

“We came out with a lot of energy in the beginning of the first set and that energy went down on the court as the match went on, for whatever reason,” coach said. “Now we’re just focusing on coming together as a team and learning how to win with each other on the floor.”

But as the first set ended 25-23 in favor of Southern, the second and third set came along and now all of sudden the Owls are down 2-1.  

Junior Faith Ford, leader on the team with three blocks, said Barbaro was stressing the team to focus and communicate, if they wanted to turn the 2-1 deficit around.  

The coach was telling us to finish, focus on offense and be confident and strong on the ball. “We know we can dig up balls, we know we can block, but it’s more finishing on our side and reducing our errors.”

In the fourth and final set, both teams traded points early and the Owls at one point had tied the set 14-14, but Georgian Court pushed ahead on a 4-1 run making the score read 18-15, forcing the Owls to call timeout. After talking it over, the Lions ended the match on a 7-4 run to secure the set and the match, 25-19.

“I honestly think today’s game could have been a lot better,” Ford said. “It was great to come home and play on our floor, after five games on the road, but now we just need to win at home for the fans.”

The next game to do so will be Wednesday Sept. 16, against Pace University.

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