This past weekend, the women’s volleyball team turned heads after a poor outing at the Wildcat Invitational. At the PSAC/WVIAC Challenge hosted by Slippery Rock University, KU won all three matches by 3-2 victories, pushing themselves and their competitors to the absolute limit.
A week before competing in the PSAC/WVIAC Challenge, KU was involved in the Wildcat Invitational. During the invitational, KU was upset by two teams they had won games against in the previous week, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and the College of Saint Rose.
The Golden Bears refused to have any type of outcome like the Wildcat invitational. In doing so, they would need to beat Concord University for the second time in two straight weeks as well as Fairmont State University and Shepherd University.
First, KU traveled down to Sheperdstown, W.V. where they competed against Fairmont State University first. By looking at the box score, one would suggest the other team should have won due to their high kill total, but blocks and digs proved to be KU’s savior in this one.
Fairmont State destroyed KU in the kill department 70 kills to a mere 38. Even so, KU dominated the nets close with an array of blocks, totaling ten more than their opponents and 21 more digs than their opponent making, it difficult for Fairmont State to score anything. Key players for KU in this one were senior Brianna Risch and junior Nicole Brumbley. In addition to Risch’s six kills, she also recorded the game leading 12 blocks. Brumbley had five kills and 11 blocks. Senior Brittany Harman, not normally noted for her digs, led the team with 15. KU would go on to win the game 3-2.
Next, KU had a rematch with Concord University, whom they beat in the Wildcat Invitational. After beating them 3-2 a week before, KU would squeak out another 3-2 win for the second straight week. It was not an easy victory by any means, although winning the first two sets might have made it seem that way. However Concord refused to quietly let KU beat them and, in turn, won the next two sets. The final set was close, but KU would win it 15-13.
Blocks were essential again to win this match as it was the only category KU did better than Concord in. Brumbley led the team with nine. Sophomore Chelsea Braga was key too, as she led the team with eight kills. Braga also had 17 digs, but junior Emily Heppler was the real defender, gaining 33 total digs. No balls were hitting the floor near her.
The final match had KU face-to-face with Shepherd University. KU lost the first set 25-19, but won the second set by the same exact score. KU would lose the third set 25-14, but again won the next set by the same score. The last set KU took control and won 15-11.
For the first time in the tournament, Braga, or any KU player, assaulted the opposition with strikes and recorded the first double-digits in the kills category. Braga recorded a game-high and team-high 15 kills. In addition, Braga led the team in digs with 25 total. Harman also hit doubled-digits in kills with 10. Senior Dana Wright helped out a lot in this one too, by recording 23 assists in the game.
KU is playing very well after sweeping the tournament 3-0. Now the Golden Bears will find themselves facing PSAC competition at the PSAC Crossover in Cheyney, PA. Competition begins Friday, Sept. 21 and will continue until Saturday. Four PSAC games will be played in the two days.
by: Frank Lippincott