In its first encounter with Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) competition this season, the Rock’s volleyball team went winless in the PSAC Crossover this past weekend at Gannon University.
On Friday, SRU (7-10) lost to both Lock Haven (8-6) and Pitt-Johnstown (10-2) on the opening day of the tournament.
Lock Haven took over after losing a close first set, taking the match 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17).
Coach Laurie Lokash described this to be one of her teams weaker performances throughout the weekend. After winning the first set, she said they just did not play good volleyball and that was a team they should have beat.
“I think we could have beaten that team,” Lokash said. “We did not play well. We did not pass well and that cost us a lot.”
Junior Leah Jones found herself in her normal role leading the team in kills with 13. She also contributed 15 digs giving her a double-double in the match. Jones’ digs were second behind sophomore Courtney Oberlander’s 21.
Sophomore Hayley Defibaugh had a double-double as well recording a team high 29 assist and adding 12 digs.
The Rock would later face a Coach Lokash described “great” Pitt-Johnstown team in the same day. With only two losses on the season, Pitt-Johnstown was the best team they would face that tournament.
“I’m not saying we can’t beat them,” Lokash said. “But we have to play some of our best volleyball to beat them.”
The Rock was swept 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-13) by UPJ. The Green and White recorded no aces and didn’t have a player record over 10 kills. Sophomore Lamija Alisic had a team high of seven.
Sophomore Hannah Lombardo had a team high 14 assist and contributed eight digs, which ranked second to Courtney Oberlander’s 14.
The Rock performed better the next day, but still could not get a win losing to Millersville University (8-4) and Shippensburg University (11-4).
This was another game Lokash felt like they should have won. After losing the first two sets, the team came out to win a hard fought third set, but just could not finish the job as they lost 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 17-25, 25-21).
Alisic recorded a double with team highs 10 kills and 17 digs.
Oberlander contributed to the strong defensive play with 16 digs while also adding three assists and an ace.
The Rock would finish out the tournament with a 3-2 (23-25,25-19,16-25, 25-20, 15-11) loss against Shippensburg University later that day.
Even though they lost, Coach Lokash said if they would have played Millersville and Lock Haven like they did Shippensburg, they could have won those games.
The girls battled hard for five sets. The Rock won the first set and continued to go back and forth with Ship, but they could not hold off the Big Red for the last set.
Freshman Beth Stumpf had a team high 20 kills along with 18 digs giving her a double-double. She also had 3 aces.
Courtney Oberlander edged Stumpf in digs with 20 and contributed 8 assists.
Lokash said this is a different PSAC this year.
“Youth is affecting a lot of teams,” she said. “The east played better in this crossover and it may be due to their experience.”
The east experience will not be a problem the next couple of games as the Rock enters PSAC-West play. The first two games are both home. The first is on Friday against Indiana University (PA) at 7 p.m. and Clarion University at 3 p.m. Saturday.