Rock Volleyball drops three during weekend tournament

Published by , Author: Stephen Cukovich - Rocket Contributor, Date: September 20, 2016
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Slippery Rock volleyball (6-6) went 1-3 during their WJU/WLU Invitational tournament this past weekend, beating University of Virginia’s College at Wise (0-13) but losing to Fairmont State University (6-5), Wheeling Jesuit University (11-2), and West Liberty University (8-6).

The team first squared off against Fairmont on Friday when they traveled to Wheeling, but the defense could not hold off the Falcons as they were swept in their tournament opener.  The Rock lost a close first set 26-24, but couldn’t find their rhythm losing the next two matches 25-18 and 25-21.  Senior Leah Jones led the team with 11 kills during the match, while junior Courtney Oberlander had eight digs on defense.

Head coach Laurie Lokash said Fairmont had a few changes in their lineup and that ultimately changed who they were as a team.

“We did some really good things,” Lokash said. “But we are still not executing when it comes time to put the ball away.”

Next, The Rock would find themselves playing Wheeling Jesuit later on Friday and lost the match 3-0.  Seven points was the difference between the two teams as the girls lost each set 25-18. Leading the offense was Jones and sophomore Shayla Ray each with six kills, while Oberlander contributed 12 digs.

On Saturday the Green and White traveled to West Liberty for part two of their weekend tournament. The girls started off the new day with a 3-0 victory over UVA-Wise. The defense was important in the win as the Rock held Cavaliers to only 16 points in two of the three sets. Oberlander and Jones both finished the match with 14 digs each.

Then in their tournament finale, the Rock would lose to West Liberty 3-1. After winning their first set, the girls would go on to lose the next three including a close final set 29-27.  The offense was led by Jones with 17 kills, while Oberlander had 30 digs and junior Kristen C. Smith helping with 24.

Lokash believes that the team’s decision making is very good, it just comes down to executing the plays and not making unforced errors.

“We have to be more consistent from an offensive standpoint,” Lokash said. “When you’re trying to hit a ball to the corner, you can’t miss by two feet, you have to put the ball in that spot.”

The girls will now step away from tournament play and move on to individual games when they travel to Philippi, West Virginia to take on Alderson Broaddus University on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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