The Slippery Rock University volleyball team began their season strong, winning their first two matches against Pfeiffer College and Georgia College, before being handed their first loss of the season against Shephard University.
The season began with the Pfeiffer College Tournament in Misenheimer, NC. On day one of the tournament, The Rock began their day with a 3-0 shut-out victory over the host school , Pfeiffer. Sophomore Leah Jones and senior Kristy Lake each had strong performances in the match, combining for a total of 17 kills in the match. Jones recorded nine kills and Lake also added eight of her own. Jones correspondingly tallied a match-best of 12 digs, just missing out on a double-double.
For a team as a whole, Slippery Rock held the edge over Pfeiffer with a .184-.087 hitting percentage.
Slippery Rock performed aggressively in an electrifying five-set 3-2 victory over Georgia College in their second game of the tournament. During the match, five separate Rock athletes recorded at least ten kills apiece. Lake took the lead by recording a 16 kills; followed by sophomore Cassidy Schoof with 11, senior Michelle Hren with 11, freshman Emily Sokolowski with 10, and sophomore Jaden Zimmer also with 10.
Rock sophomore Anna Mease led the Rock on defense by recording a match-best of 33 digs. Sophomore Nicole Fortuna, and senior Jana Reilly each recorded eight digs, followed by Lake and Jones each with five, freshman Kristen C. Smith with two, and junior Kristen Smith with one.
Although the Green and White was behind two sets to nothing early on, the girls fought back to bring the match even at 2-2. During the comeback, The Rock posted 25-19 wins in both the third and fourth set. The final set of the match was very back and forth, but Slippery Rock prevailed with a final match score of 15-13.
“I thought we played okay,” SRU head coach Laurie Lokash said. “We had to come back from two sets down to beat Georgia College, so I was very proud of how the team stuck together and refused to give up. We settled down and got the job done.”
On day two of the tournament, the Rock was shut out by Shepherd University 3-0.
The Rams soundly defeated SRU in all three sets with scores of 25-14, 25-13, and 25-19. Offensively, Kristy Lake and Michelle Hren paced the team with four kills apiece, along with Janna Reilly tallying seven assists and leading the team with eight digs. Leah Jones also added seven digs for the Rock.
With The Rock’s loss to Shepherd, their record drops to 2-1 overall.
“I thought we played very poorly in the loss against Shepherd,” Lokash said. “Passing dictates chances for success, and our passing that match was abysmal at best.”
This week, SRU heads to Elkins, West Virginia to take part in the Davis and Elkins Tournament. They will face Glenville State College (0-4), University of Virginia-Wise (1-1), Urbana University of Ohio (1-2), and Concord University (3-3). Their first match is against Glenville on Sat. at 3 p.m.