Rock Volleyball goes winless in weekend road trip

Published by The Rocket, Author: Zach Bonnette - Rocket Contributor , Date: October 1, 2018
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The Slippery Rock University volleyball team was on the road this weekend, traveling to play the Seton Hill Griffins (10-6, 4-2 PSAC) on Friday night and the California University (Pa.) Vulcans (12-6, 5-1 PSAC) on Saturday night. Looking to build off an encouraging performance from the prior weekend, it did not seem as The Rock could get anything going as they suffered two consecutive straight set losses this weekend. Slippery Rock drops to 4-10 on the season, and 1-5 in conference play. 

The Seton Hill Griffins welcomed The Rock to their court Friday night, with both teams looking to shake off losses in their previous games. In the first set, SRU and Seton Hill looked to be evenly matched at first, splitting the first 14 points, resulting in a 7-7 stalemate. Slippery Rock would stumble down the line, however, allowing Seton Hill to go on a commanding 14-7 run and falling behind by a score of 21-14. The Rock tried to strike back late, scoring three consecutive points and cutting the lead down to four, but the Griffins would hold on and close the set out, earning a 25-18 victory. 

The Green and White struggled mightily in the second set as Seton Hill scored on 13 of the set’s first 16 points. Slippery Rock had no answers as the latter coasted to a convincing 25-11 second set victory. 

Unfortunately, the third set would have a similar story as Seton Hill jumped out to a 12-5 run, a lead that was truly never in jeopardy, as Seton Hill would lead by six points or more for the remainder of the set. Slippery Rock could not avoid the straight set loss, as the Griffins closed the set out with a final score of 25-18. 

Slippery Rock’s offensive attack was a bit sluggish on Friday night, as they recorded a season low .000 attack percentage. Conversely, the defense put up respectable numbers, as senior Shayla Ray and sophomore Erinn Kahoe combined for eight blocks on the night, good for the fourth highest team total of the season. Junior Zoey Rivet registered 15 assists and 11 digs along with one ace, earning Rivet her third double-double of the season. 

Saturday afternoon featured a game in which both teams were trending in opposite directions, as Slippery Rock who was 2-7 in their last nine games arrived at California, PA to take on the surging Vulcans who were conversely 7-2 in their last nine contests. 

The Green and White came out with passion and intensity in the first set, as both teams fought back and forth for much of the set, but Slippery Rock would hold a 22-20 advantage late in the set to no avail. Slippery Rock would lose another let close set, as the Vulcans rallied late scoring five of the last six points in the set, taking the first set by a score of 25-23. 

The Rock started out strong once again in the second set storming out to a 7-3 lead, but a 12-5 Vulcans run would stifle the Green and White’s momentum. Suddenly facing a 15-12 deficit, Slippery Rock could not climb out of the hole that was dug for them, as California would bury The Rock’s comeback hopes en route to a 25-18 victory. 

In the third set, there was no sign of life from the Green and White as the Vulcans busted open a 17-6 lead in the third set, a lead that California would never renounce. Slippery Rock would fall in the third and final set by a score of 25-15, their fifth straight set loss of the season. 

Despite another tough loss, there were certainly encouraging performances for The Green and White on Saturday. Senior Beth Stumpf recorded a team-high 12 kills as Zoey Rivet paced the offense with 25 assists. Sophomore Jalyn Willard put up an impressive 23 digs, the highest total recorded by any player on Saturday. 

Rock Volleyball has a great opportunity to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday at 7 p.m., as they return home to take on a struggling team in Edinboro, who are 1-7 in their last 8 games.

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