In its last attempt for a win, Slippery Rock volleyball lost to California University of Pennsylvania and Seton Hill University over the weekend in its last games of the season.
“We didn’t win, but we saw some things out of the players we have been looking for all season,” Rock head coach Laurie Lokash said. “We played to our potential.”
On Friday night, SRU went to Cal and lost 3-1 (25-27, 25-10, 25-20, 25-14). The Rock traveled to Greensburg the next day to face Seton Hill.
The Rock lost to the Griffins 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18) Saturday afternoon. The Rock had to make some early adjustments when sophomore setter Hannah Lombardo suffered a high ankle sprain before the game.
The Rock lost the first set in a close 25-22 bout, eventually losing the second set 25-17. The third set sparked a Rock comeback with a 25-23 victory, but it would not last as they lost the final set of the season 25-18.
Freshman outside hitter Beth Stumpf led the offensive attack with a team-high 19 kills. Sophomore setter Haley Defibaugh had a team-high 49 assists and also added two blocks as well, but it was another performance by the sophomore transfer from Seton Hill, libero Courtney Oberlander, that stood out on defense.
“Courtney had a really good year as a defensive specialist,” Lokash said. “She is one of the best liberos in the PSAC.”
Taking her normal role, Oberlander had a team-high 18 digs and also contributed two assists.
The Seton Hill transfer said she did not expect to take the role she did this season, but she said it helped her to become a better player. Even though she has proven herself this year, a humble Oberlander said that she still has to keep working hard to maintain her role.
“I’m not sure how many more defensive specialists we will have come in, if any,” Oberlander said. “But I have to keep fighting because you never know who will come. Your spot is not guaranteed.”
Her coach, Lokash, agreed. With a new season ahead of them Lokash is glad that the team will be more experienced, and said that this group will really be able to develop its own team culture, but that does not mean that anyone is entitled to a spot.
“I’m expecting growth from everyone next season,” Lokash said. “Whoever grows will be on the court. That growth will bring us a more successful season.”