Rock Volleyball continues to struggle on the road

Published by The Rocket, Author: Zach Bonnette - Rocket Contributor, Date: October 30, 2018
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The Slippery Rock University volleyball team could not get anything going on the road this weekend as the team fell short in matchups against Shippensburg on Friday night and Pitt-Johnstown on Saturday afternoon. The losses drop The Rock to an overall record of 9-15 and a 6-9 record in conference play. 

After suffering a heartbreaking loss to West Liberty, the Green and White had a chance to get back on track on Friday night against Shippensburg University. The Rock could not gain any traction until it was too late, as the Raiders handed the Green and White a straight-set loss. 

In the first set, Shippensburg got off to a hot start, going on a 6-2 run that included three aces. The Raiders would hold control for the rest of the opening set, turning on cruise control en route to a commanding 25-14 first set victory. 

SRU found themselves in a hole early in the second set as well, as Shippensburg took 10 of the first 12 points of the set. Slippery Rock cut down the deficit to three on three separate occasions, but the Raiders would go on to bury The Rock’s comeback efforts, as Shippensburg would defeat SRU by a score of 25-17 to pull ahead two sets to none. 

Once again, Shippensburg came out firing early in the set and Slippery Rock seemed to have no answer as the Raiders would spring out to a 7-0 lead. The Rock would go down swinging, however, as the two would trade points for the remainder of the set. It turned out that the Raiders needed those first seven points, as they would narrowly escape an SRU comeback, closing out the set and match by a score of 25-23. 

Notable SRU performances include senior Shayla Ray, who paced the team with eight kills. Sophomore Erinn Kahoe registered a match-best five blocks on the night. Junior Zoe Rivet recorded 17 digs to go along with a team-high 29 assists. Sophomore Jalyn Willard also racked up 15 digs of her own. 

On Saturday, The Rock would get another chance at a PSAC opponent in Pitt-Johnstown. The two teams seemed evenly matched in the first set, with neither team being able to pull away early. Eventually, the Mountain Cats would rattle off a 7-2 run which would be the difference in a 25-20 first set victory for Pitt-Johnstown. 

In the second set, The Rock would hold a slim 10-9 advantage before surrendering a 13-1 run to Pitt-Johnstown which made a Green and White comeback was insurmountable. The Mountain Cats would go on to win the second set by a score of 25-17. 

A common theme for the match, the PSAC rivals played even for much of the set, but it was Pitt-Johnstown who performed late, taking the last four of six points in the third set to secure a 25-19 victory, defeating The Rock in straight set fashion. 

Despite the loss, senior Beth Stumpf recorded nine kills to go along with seven digs. Zoe Rivet led the team in assists once again, with assists on 22 of The Rock’s 26 kills on the night. Jalyn Willard also had a team-best 14 digs to round out The Rock’s top performers. 

The Green and White have a great opportunity to snap their losing streak on Tuesday, as they take on Edinboro, who they defeated in straight-sets earlier this season, before returning home to play a powerhouse in Gannon on Friday, Nov. 2. 

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