The Slippery Rock women’s volleyball team got off to a great start this past weekend at the Tony Banner Invitational in Clarion, Pa. with a 3-2 victory over Shepherd University.
The Green and White won the first set of the match 25-21, but Shepherd then won the second set 25-22.
The teams split the next two sets 25-18 and 25-22.
The Rock finished the match 15-10, winning its second match of the season.
Senior Sarah Cadwallader tied her career high 20 kills, which is the third time she has had 20 kills in a match.
Senior Sarah Beals had eight kills, five digs, and six blocks.
Sophomore Michelle Hren had three kills and eight blocks. Senior Hannah McShea added 19 digs.
In the first match of the second day of the tournament, the Rock came from behind and finished 3-2 against Fairmont State.
This was the 19th meeting between SRU head coach, Laurie Lokash, and Fairmont State’s head coach, Larry Hill.
Both coaches have over 500 wins in their careers. Lokash is ranked 10th, and Hill is ranked ninth in victories among active Division II coaches.
The Rock won the first set of the match 25-18, but Fairmont State then took the next two sets 25-18 and 25-21.
In the fourth set, the Rock won 25-10, which forced a fifth set. The Rock finished the match 15-13.
Freshman Morgan Tyree led the team with 15 kills.
Beals had 11 kills and Cadwallader had 10 kills.
McShea had 17 digs and five service aces.
Junior Caroline Houston had two service aces.
Junior setter Alexandra Fleagle had 21 assists and sophomore Jana Reilly had 29 assists in the winning effort.
In the third and final match of the tournament, the Green and White fell to American International University, 3-1.
This was the first meeting between the two teams ever.
The Rock lost the first two sets 25-21 and 25-20.They then came back in the third set by winning 25-19, but American International finished them off by winning the fourth set 25-21.
McShea had 20 digs, while Houston had eight digs, nine kills, and two service aces.
Tyree had 10 kills, while Cadwallader had eight kills and four blocks in the losing effort.
Beals thought that this weekend’s performance was a good confidence boost for the team.
“We got a few wins under our belt, and that gives us confidence going into the weekend,” Beals said.
She went on to say that the team finished much better this weekend than the previous week.
“We definitely executed the ball better, and we were able to make smarter decisions overall,” Beals said.
McShea added to her teammate’s comments, saying that she thought that the team was more mentally tough this past weekend.
“We cut down on some of our errors and played better as a team,” McShea said. “We definitely left this weekend feeling more confident in our ability as a team.”
The Green and White finished the weekend with a record of 3-4 overall for the season.
The team heads to a tournament hosted by Shepherd University this weekend, where they start the weekend off by facing Glenville State University today at 1 p.m.
Cadwallader said many of the same teams from the Clarion tournament will be at Shepherd tournament this weekend.
“I know we’re looking forward to the weekend and seeing some of the same teams from last weekend,” Cadwallader said. “We need to come out strong in order to get the same results against the same teams from last week.”
The Green and White is set to play Fairmont State again tomorrow for a 3 p.m match.