Entering their second tournament of the young season, The Rock traveled to West Virginia for the second straight weekend looked to improve upon their 2-2 record.
SRU had its share of up and downs this weekend enjoying a win in their first game of the tournament but would stumble down the road, losing their last three in a row. Slippery Rock volleyball exits the weekend with a 1-3 record, 3-5 overall.
After ending their last game on a high note, defeating Charleston (W. Va.) by a score of 3-2, SRU looked to keep the momentum going in a matchup against Fairmont State University, and they did just that. In the first set, Fairmont State gained an early lead against SRU, 6-2. Slippery Rock would fight back despite the early deficit and eventually claim a lead of 13-11 at one point. After gaining the lead, The Rock would never look back, eventually taking the first set by a score of 25-22.
The Green and White would follow suit once again in the second set, registering a 25-17 victory. Slippery Rock would suffer from a few errors and sloppy play in the third set as they attempted to go for the shutout. Fairmont State scored 20 of the first 30 points in the third set, and would eventually win the set, 25-14. Unphased by a shaky set, SRU would refocus and rally to secure the fourth set by a score of 25-18, effectively clinching the win against Fairmont State (4-6).
The Rock would go on to face a taller task against no. 14 ranked Wheeling Jesuit University (9-3). Rock Volleyball struggled to gain any traction in the first set against WJU, registering a -.152-attack percentage, ultimately losing the set, 25-13.
Slippery Rock fought hard in the second set, however, unafraid of the powerhouse that is Wheeling Jesuit. At one point in the set, The Rock had a 24-21 edge over the Cardinals, but were unable to hang on to secure the set as the latter rallied to close SRU’s lead to one point, 25-24. WJU went on to score the next 3 points which sent Slippery Rock into a 0-2 hole. A similar sight occurred in the third set as the Green and White jumped out to a 17-13 lead, but the experienced Cardinal squad rallied once again, securing the set and match by a score of 25-19, sending SRU to a record of 1-1 on Friday.
Notable statistics from Friday’s competition included senior Beth Stumpf’s team-leading 17 kills and registered a .424 hitting percentage in SRU’s match against FSU. Stumpf would also go on to lead the team in kills on Friday with 27. SRU’s leading blocker, Shayla Ray also shined compiling eight blocks on the day.
On Saturday, Slippery Rock was slated to compete in yet another double-header, one match against a familiar foe in the University of Charleston (3-9) and one match against West Liberty University (9-3).
First up on Saturday would be the University of Charleston, who SRU secured a win against just a week earlier. SRU and Charleston would go on to have another close, competitive matchup, with the opposite result this time. It appears The Rock was going to put together another victory against the Golden Eagles, as they took the first set with a score of 25-22. Shortly after, Slippery Rock found themselves in a dogfight as Charleston would go on to take the next two sets with scores of 25-17, 25-19, respectively.
The Green and White would stave off a loss for one more set, as they battled hard in the fourth set, taking the victory 25-18. In the overtime set, Slippery Rock would falter early, finding themselves looking at a 7-3 deficit. The deficit proved to be too much as Charleston would defeat SRU in the final set, 15-10, handing The Rock its second straight loss.
The fourth and final matchup of the weekend came against West Liberty University (9-3). Slippery Rock battled hard in the first two sets but were unable to capture a victory in either set, only losing both sets by a combined total of seven points (25-20, 26-24). The Rock got out to a slow start in the third set, and WLU took full advantage and never surrendered the lead. The Green and White would suffer its third straight set loss of the season, losing the final set by a score of 25-18.
Notable performances of the day included Beth Stumpf leading the team once again in kills, totaling 27 total kills in only eight sets. Sophomore Erinn Kahoe racked up nine blocks over two matches, adding her season total to a team-leading 28 blocks. Junior Zoey Rivet had 60 total assists Saturday, as she moves into ninth all-time for assists in SRU history with a whopping 1,353 in her career.
After a tough weekend, Rock volleyball will look to bounce back next weekend as they open PSAC play at West Chester University (10-0) at 7 PM. The Rock will then take on another PSAC foe on Saturday as Millersville (5-4) will host Slippery Rock at 2 PM on Saturday.