A disappointing weekend leaves a sour taste in KU women’s volleyball team’s mouth. After an undefeated performance the week before winning four games, KU loses four straight games against PSAC competition. KU is now 8-8 overall, but this weekend left them 0-4 in the conference.
KU lost to all four opponents this weekend: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University and Slippery Rock University. Fortunately, this was a PSAC crossover competition and KU will no longer see any of these teams. Thankfully so, considering in two games the Golden Bears were swept and in the other two losses KU only won one set of four.
Simply put, this weekend was an absolute mess. KU’s outstanding player of the tournament was by far sophomore Chelsea Braga who only played in the first two games. It is still unknown whether or not Braga is injured, but one can assume that without her, the team does not compete well.
In Braga’s first game, she was leader in kills with 13. She also led the team in aces with three. In the same game, senior Briana Risch played well too, with 10 kills and eight blocks. Even usually consistent senior Brittany Harman had her best game of the weekend, knocking down 8 kills.
After the first game, KU played terribly. Braga was still the hero of the second game, but it still was not good enough. With eight kills, two aces and a block, her performance was not even her best. For the rest of the weekend, KU couldn’t manage to get one other player into double digits in kills or any category, for that matter.
Looking past the dreadful weekend, KU has to face Millersville University Friday, Sept. 28 and Shippensburg University Sept. 29. Both games are away, which will be tough considering the amount of travel.
KU beat both teams last season during season play twice, at home and away. However, this is not the same team as last year. At least five starters last year are no longer playing this season, which is truly affecting the game. KU lacks a lot of size, so deception needs to be their method, along with ball movement.
With 16 games down, Braga leads the team in kills even though she missed the last two games. As of now she has 160 kills, just ahead of Harman with 147. Helping set the kills are seniors Kimberlee Gomber and Dana Wright. Gomber leads with 246 followed by Wright with 226. The next closest Golden Bear is sophomore Danielle Van Buren with 31.
Anchoring the defense is junior Nicole Brumbley. Brumbley leads the team with 64 blocks followed by Risch with 47. As far as digs are concerned, junior Emily Heppler is in front with 267. Harman has recorded 234 and Braga 220.
Taking out Millersville and Shippensburg is very important. Braga needs to be in the line-up adding the offensive pressure. Harman, on the other hand, desperately needs to lead this team. Without a spark KU is doomed to lose to Millersville and Shippensburg.
By Danielle Taus