Volleyball drops two PSAC matches over Homecoming weekend

Published by , Author: Jordyn Bennett, Date: October 14, 2015
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Sitting at the bottom of the conference, Slippery Rock volleyball (8-14) continued to come up short in conference play as they fell to Mercyhurst (10-10) and Gannon (14-4) this past weekend.
On Friday, The Rock was swept by the Mercyhurst Lakers 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-17) in its annual Dig for the Cure game. Though not able to take a set, The Rock had the advantage in two sets, but could never get the job done.
After letting the Lakers take a 13-8 lead in the beginning of the first set, The Rock went on a 9-1 run that gave them a short lived lead. Mercyhurst responded with four answered points that brought them back into set. The teams would go back and forth, but the Lakers ultimately took the momentum and took the set.
The Lakers used the momentum of the last set and brought it to the second. After starting the set 4-0, they did not allow The Rock to take the lead once. SRU took the lead early in the third set, but could not hold on to it. After outscoring the Lakers 7-5 in the final set, Mercyhurst would take the lead on a 4-0 run that the Rock never overcame.
Sophomore outside hitters Leah Jones and Lamija Ailisic did not play their usual roles on the offensive side as freshmen outside hitter Beth Stumpf and freshmen opposite Kelsey Boyle tied for a team high eight kills. Sophomore setter Hayley Defibaugh had a team high 16 assists, while sophomore Courtney Oberlander led in digs (11).
Coach Laurie Lokash said that they are still looking for the right combination of people on the court. After a tough loss to Mercyhurst, Lokash insisted that they found a more successful combination they would use in their contest against Gannon the next day.
“The change in personnel got us a little better chemistry on the court,” Coach Lokash said. “The major improvement from day one to two was that we made better decisions when things weren’t perfect.”
The Rock lost 2-3 (22-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-21, 15-11) in a back and forth battle against the Golden Knights.
The Rock took a close first set filled with nine lead changes.
They would lose the second set that Gannon seemed to control in the beginning outscoring the Rock 6-1. The Rock would bring the deficit as close to two points, but could not overcome their opponent. In the third, set The Rock would take the lead in the beginning, but shortly after the Golden Knights would take it back. The Rock would not allow that lead to last as they scored eight unanswered points to win the set. The Rock would ultimately lose the match, losing two close final sets.
Jones found her way back to making her presence known on the court after not seeing much action the night before. She had team highs 19 kills and 22 digs. Oberlander trailed close behind with 21 digs. Sophomore setter Hannah Lombardo led in assist with 21.
Coach Lokash said the key to a better performance was eliminating the unforced errors. She said they have a long way to go, but this performance is definitely one to build on.
“In the past, we established a level and then did not meet or exceed that level in the next competition,” Coach Lokash said. “If we can at least meet the level we established on Saturday and maintain or improve it over that rest of the season then we will start putting wins in the win column.”
Looking for her 600th win and attempting to improve her team’s 1-8 record in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) play, Lokash heads to the eastern division for a win this upcoming weekend. So far this season, The Rock is 0-4 against PSAC East teams.
The Rock travels to Kutztown University to play Kutztown (4-16) and Cheyney University (1-15) this weekend. The first game begins at 11:30 a.m.

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