Volleyball has record day as season winds down

Ed RudmanContributor

On the night the women’s volleyball team honored the life of Madison Featherston, they were able to pick up their biggest win of the season in a five-set match against crosstown rival University of New Haven, winning it 3-2.

Featherston, who was an alumna of Southern and played on the team for four years, passed away unexpectedly from epilepsy at her home on May 21, 2019. To honor her, the volleyball team gifted a framed jersey and plaque, while also observing a moment of silence before the game.

“I can’t say enough about what today means to me, means to our program, and to our team,” said head coach Lisa Barbaro. “It’s just a really special day, Madison was a really special person that we lost way too young and we had a lot to play for today.”

The Owls seemed to played with extra motivation out on the court and it showed. The Owls were able to get off to a good start to the game and won the first set 2522. SCSU and UNH then traded off the next three sets and found themselves tied at 2-2 heading into the fifth and final set.

The long game came to a swift end when the Owls were able to take control of the fifth set and win it handily 15-9, as the fifth set goes up to 15 instead of 25.

“Me being a senior, we have never beat New Haven, our biggest rival, and we had a lot of emotions coming into the game,” said defensive specialist Anna Venard, a senior. “We had our bad sets that we lost, but I think going into a fifth set we really just pushed through and were able to pull out the win.”

Venard had a career night, posting a school record and personal best 37 digs, her previous best being 29. This is also her ninth straight match posting double-digit digs.

Venard was not the only one to post a career best in the game, as senior setter Tea Carter set a new personal best 52 assists and was able to notch 14 digs as well. This is Carter’s 18th game of the season where she has been able to post more than 30 assists and her seventh double-double.

With the closely fought victory, the Owls improve their record to 12-14 overall and 5-5 in NE-10 conference play, while UNH falls to 14-8 on the season and 6-3 in conference play. With only three games left in the season, all away from home and NE10 conference games, the Owls find themselves having to win two of the three final games in order to qualify for the NE10 tournament.

“I think we’re going to have the same mentality that we have had all season: win every day.” said Carter. “When we go into practice, we’re going to do our best in
every drill and know at the end of the day that we got better. If we keep doing that every day and execute until the end of the season, then we’re in the playoffs.”

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