By Nick Carson
The KU women’s volleyball team relied on late scoring to sweep a three-set match against Philadelphia University on Friday, Sept. 12. With the win, the Golden Bears improve to an early record of 5-1, while the loss put the Rams at 2-2 for the season.
KU won each of the three sets against the Rams by no more than four points, with the scores coming in at 27-25, 25-21 and 25-22. In the first two matches, KU found themselves down 16-22 and 16-20, but the Golden Bears rallied to get the first two wins. The third match was much closer, but after the teams were tied at 19, KU was able to pull away to get the victory and the sweep.
The Rams early points were put up by scoring leaders Chelsea Hughes, junior, with 19.5 points, Lauren Laucella, sophomore, with 11.5 points and Terra Ecker, senior, with 7 points.
KU senior Danielle Van Buren led the scoring effort for the Golden Bears, putting up 12 points. Seniors Aly York and Chelsea Braga also we among the top scorers for KU, with York scoring 8.5 points and Braga scoring 8 points.
KU’s seniors were not the only weapons in the match, with sophomores Zandria Zielinski and Anna Conti having big nights. Zielinski led the Golden Bears with five total blocks, and the only solo block of the day for KU. She also had two kills and two assists. Conti recorded 29 assists and had a career-high four kills.
With the win, the Golden Bears ride a four-game win and shut-out streak into a four-game PSAC crossover trip. Last season the Golden Bears finished with a 14-19 overall record, and especially struggles against PSAC teams. In conference play, last year’s team was 8-14, so head coach John Gump and the rest of the team will look to use these early conference games to gain confidence.
The four games will be played on Sept. 19 and 20, starting with Mercyhurst (5-2) and Gannon (7-0) on Sept. 19, and finishing with Slippery Rock (5-2) and Edinboro (6-2) on Sept. 20. All four of the games will be held in Cheyney, Pa.