Rock volleyball struggles continue in weekend homestand

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The Slippery Rock University volleyball team dropped two games in a brief homestand on Friday and Saturday, first against Indiana (Pa.) (6-16, 5-8 PSAC Southwest), then to Pitt-Johnstown (12-11, 4-9 PSAC Southwest).

The two losses combine for The Rock’s 11th consecutive loss, highlighting the struggles that the young volleyball team has gone through this season. The two losses drop Slippery Rock to an overall record of 7-18 and a divisional record of 2-11.

On a Friday night matchup at 7 p.m., The Rock welcomed IUP for what would be The Green and White’s 23rd game of the season.

The Crimson Hawks maintained an advantage through much of the first set, leading Slippery Rock 22-14 at one point. The Rock then managed to go on a 7-2 run to cut Indiana’s lead down to 24-21. However, the Crimson Hawks denied The Rock any hope of an opening set comeback, as Jasmine Raudys registered registered the final point to preserve a 25-21 opening set victory for IUP.

Both teams found themselves battling to overcome one another in the second set, as both would tie late in the set at 19-19. It was IUP once again that was able to deliver the final blow, as the Crimson Hawks would churn out six of the next seven points to earn a 25-20 second set victory.

Holding a two set advantage over SRU, Indiana stormed out to a 9-3 lead in the third set. As the set wore on, it was apparent that some momentum had swayed in the direction of the Green and White, as they eventually pulled even with IUP late in the set. With the score sitting at 21-21, SRU grabbed three of the next five points to be on the cusp of forcing a fourth set. But once again, IUP mustered another successful closing effort, eventually overcoming SRU 26-24, clinching a 3-0 match victory.

Even in a tough loss, The Rock were able to hang their hat on some bright statistics recorded in the game. Slippery Rock managed its fifth highest team attack percentage of the season (.216) while also edging The Crimson Hawks in aces (7-4) as well as blocks (7-4).

Freshman Abigail Koeller and junior Erinn Kahoe tied each other for the team lead in kills, with eight each.

Senior Zoe Rivet contributed two aces to push her season total to 40, which is good for third among all PSAC athletes.

Junior Stephanie Jacobsen had a productive night as she recorded 13 digs while also serving up two aces.

After suffering a tough loss to IUP on Friday night, things didn’t get much easier for The Rock on Saturday as they took on another PSAC Southwest team in Pitt-Johnstown at 1 p.m.

Through the first 14 points of the opening set, things were looking up for the slumping Rock volleyball team, as they held a 9-5 advantage over the Mountain Cats. UPJ came alive after that however, scoring 12 of the next 14 points, which ultimately led to a 25-20 opening set victory for Pitt-Johnstown.

Contrary to the first set, The Green and White got out to a slow start in the second set, allowing UPJ to jump out to a 16-7 lead. Both teams would trade points for the rest of the set, but by that point, it was too late for The Rock, as they dropped the second set by a score of 25-17.

Down 2-0 once again, history seemed to repeat itself as Slippery Rock looked the possibility of their 11th straight loss in the eyes. Down 21-14, SRU rattled off a 9-3 run to pull cut down the Mountain Cats’ lead to 24-23. Unable to convert in the final moments of the set, The Rock dropped the final point, resulting in a 25-23 third set loss.

Both losses serve as a troubling trend for The Rock, who have dropped 17 consecutive sets.

The Rock will look to snap their losing streak on November 8, as they take on Seton Hill at 7 p.m., begining a three-match PSAC road trip.

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