Today: Apr 21, 2024

Volleyball team defeats Franklin Pierce 3-2

Ben MartinSports Writer

It’s a tie game at two sets a piece between the Owls’ volleyball team and the Franklin Pierce Ravens on Friday night at Pelz Gymnasium. The Owls just evened up the game by barely winning the fourth set 25-22.  

After the fourth set, the team huddles in the tunnel looking for fuel to keep persevering through a long game. They turn to their head coach Lisa Barbaro for some words of wisdom.  

“Just have fun, confidence and faith,” Barbaro said to the girls. “Play like a team and go after it.”  

The Owls took their coach’s words to heart, as in the fifth they came out on fire and took a 7-0 lead with server and outside hitter Sara Enright, a junior, leading the charge. The Owls eventually went on to take the fifth and final set 15-12 and won the game 3-2.  

Winning the game moves the Owls record to 13-8 and their Northeast 10 conference record to an even 2-2.  

“It was a fun game to play,” Enright said. “We worked really hard, and I think we did a good job of executing our plan tonight.”  

Enright ended the game for the Owls with 11 kills second on the team to middle blocker Payton Reis, a senior, who finished with 16.  

Coming into the game, the Owls had lost in a devastating fashion the weekend prior to Southern New Hampshire University 3-0 Southern New Hampshire University. The Owls used that as fuel to beat Georgian Court 3-0 on Monday and win Friday’s game.  

According to Owls’ setter Taylor Jones, a junior, the weekend loss was not the only motivating loss the team had on their minds. Last year the Owls went to Rindge, New Hampshire to battle the Ravens and the Ravens won that game in five sets.  

Jones said  the team came out with a lot of fire because of last year’s loss. Jones and her teammates were determined to protect their home gym in Pelz and not let the Ravens repeat last year’s outcome.  

Along with the losses as adversity for the Owls coming into the game, more of it was added on during the game. The Owls lost right side hitter Sydney Bennett, a freshman, to injury during the game.  

“They could have shut down,” Barbaro said about Bennett getting hurt. “Instead, we used that as our fuel to finish and get the win [to] pick up our teammate.”  

Along with all the adversity stacked up against the team on Friday, in the fifth set the Owls were tasked with a task that they need to work on according to Jones, Enright and coach Barbaro: finishing sets and games. After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, the Ravens started scoring more consistently as they came within one to make the set 13-12.  

The Owls eventually took the final set 15-12, but the Ravens come- back was a bit alarming.  

“We need to finish because we tend to get to the end of the game and let up a little bit,” Enright said.  

 Although finishing the final set took longer than expected, coach Barbaro was happy with the finish to it.  

“We have struggled, and we have lost some close sets all year long that we should have come through and won,” Barbaro said. “Tonight, they did not do that.”  

Barbaro said the team started to give back the fifth set a bit but they called a timeout to recollect themselves and go back into it with the confidence to close it out.  

With the Owls facing adversity and being presented with tough tasks during the game, the team was very proud of their win on Friday.  

“I think we worked really hard to get to that fifth set,” Jones said. “I am proud of us because as a team we often struggle with finishing strong. So at the end when it got close, I am really proud of the way our competitors finished out and did what they had to do.”  

The Owls have eight more opponents on the docket for the season and all of them are fellow Northeast 10 conference members. After Friday’s showing, Coach Barbaro feels great about her young team heading into those games.  

 “Tonight was a really big growth opportunity for our young team,” Barbaro said. “I think this young team is starting to come together and I think we will have a good second half of the season.”  

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