Volleyball victorious against Saint Rose
Ben Martin – Sports Writer
The university’s volleyball team did something on Tuesday that they have struggled with all season: finishing set and they knew they needed to take the fifth set.
At the break between the sets, the Owls huddled at Pelz Gymnasium to strategize and build morale going into the fifth set. However, one person was missing from that huddle: Head Coach Lisa Barbaro.
“We decided that we needed to pick up our energy, so we huddled,” Outside Hitter Gabriella Gaibur, a senior, said. “The only people that have our backs for sure are each other.”
After the huddle, the Owls came out for the fifth set. They ended up winning 15-12 and by winning that set they defeated the College of Saint Rose Golden Knights 3-2 on Tuesday after being down 2-1.
“We have a lot of determination on this team,” Outside Hitter Sara Enright, a junior, said. “It talks all of us and our bench and our fans. Everyone was cheering us on and that’s what mattered.”
To win the game and the set was a large task for the Owls as the score was tied 11-11. However, after a run of scoring plays by Enright and Outside Hitter Kacey Deecher, a junior, the Owls finished the set coming out on top 15-12.
“I am very proud of this group,” Coach Barbaro said. “For them to tough it out and finish strong in the end. It’s just a great feeling.”
Along with determination, the Owls’ lineup flexibility aided them to the win on Tuesday’s matchup.
“We have had a lot of injuries and health issues throughout the year, so we have tried multiple lineups throughout the season,” Coach Barbaro said. “We have been able to make some changes at crucial times and that really paid off for us in that fourth and fifth set.”
The Owls have had a problem of injuries and health issues spanning back to late last month. According to Setter Taylor Jones, a junior, the team had to put people out of position at practices because they did not have enough for every position.
Going back to the beginning of the game, the Owls came out of the gate strong as they took a tight first set 26-24. However, sets two and three were both won by the Golden Knights by a score of 25-21.
“We really pushed through at the end,” Enright said. “It was a team effort, and we are proud of coming out on top.”
Although the Owls won in a thrilling matchup, there are things to improve upon from every game regardless of the outcome.
The team must work on not letting mistakes build said Gaibur. As soon as one person made a mistake, a lot more come along with that and it is because the team is not picking each other up.
Although the Owls were able to come out on top in a close game, Enright believes there is more work to be done with that.
“When we get to the top, we have to able to finish games,” Enright said.
Along with Gaibur and Enright, Coach Barbaro believes the team still has some work to do in their final games of the season as they prepare for the Northeast 10 conference tournament.
Barbaro believes the team needs to work on passes and serves a little more and develop their offense. To get those skills at their best, Barbaro wants the team to focus on the present.
“We are just trying to take it on day at a time,” coach Barbaro said. “That’s where our focus is, one practice at a time, one day at a time.”
Kasey Deecher high-fiving teammate | Luke Molwitz