Rock volleyball defeated the West Liberty University Hilltoppers (19-12) 3-1 Tuesday night at Morrow Field House during The Rock’s annual Dig for the Cure game.
Leading the way on offense was junior Brooke Bostwick with 14 kills and with help from freshman teammate Zoe Rivet, who racked an individual season-high 44 assists. Sophomore Shayla Ray handled the defense up front with seven blocks while junior Courtney Oberlander led the team in digs with 26, with senior Leah Jones helping with 23.
In the first set, neither team seemed to have the upper hand in the beginning, as the lead was exchanged multiple times. The Rock’s blocking up front was a big part of their game plan as Ray led the way. When the set was tied at 18 late, The Rock scored seven straight points to win the set 25-18.
“I think that we got into some ruts, but we fought our way back out,” head coach Laurie Lokash said. “And we haven’t been doing that all year.”
When the second set kicked off, The Rock continued their scoring ways as they grabbed an early 6-1 lead. West Liberty committed 10 attack errors in the set, helping the Green and White grab a 21-13 lead late. The Rock’s defense would hold up as they won the set 25-19.
The third set had a lot of the same qualities as the first set in the beginning as both teams refused to give in. That was until the set was tied at 12 and West Liberty struck with five straight points. Once the Hilltoppers took control, they only began to build on that lead, eventually taking the set 25-16.
“I thought toward the end of the second set that we were starting to teeter out,” Lokash said. “We weren’t communicating as well as we did early on.”
As the fourth set began, West Liberty continued their scoring ways as they snatched an early 7-3 lead. The Rock wasn’t done, though, as they started to eat away at the Hilltoppers’ lead and eventually tied the set at 13 after the Green and White racked up five straight points. After another streak of five points by The Rock, they were able to get out in front 18-14. Then, just when West Liberty got within two points of SRU, The Rock scored the final six points to win the set 25-17 and win the match 3-1.
The Rock has now improved their record to 11-16 and look to keep doing so when they take on Kutztown University (5-19) at Morrow Field House Friday at 7 p.m.