Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

The West Chester University women’s volleyball team looks to open up the 2013 season with a fast start after finishing in third place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Division with a record of 18-17 last season.
 Head coach, Kassie Bellaver, will be looking to her three seniors, Allison Grammer, Dana Markol, and Tyler Sheafer, as well as junior, Julia O’Brien, to replace the leadership and skill of Lexi Kegerise, three-time All-PSAC East first team athlete, who finished her four-year career with the Lady Rams this past season. Even though the Golden Rams only have five juniors and seniors on the team, they still look to have a good mix of experience and youth as Bellaver brought in eight new freshmen, headlined by outside hitter Paige Tommes and setter Analee Halbert, to go along with seven sophomores for the upcoming season. Both Tommes and Halbert will be put to the test right away, receiving significant playing time in the hopes of seamlessly transitioning into their college careers.
 WCU traveled to Kutztown University to open their season this past weekend with three games at the Kutztown Classic. The Lady Rams played Friday afternoon against Davis and Elkins College, as well as a double header against Caldwell College and Southern New Hampshire University Saturday afternoon.
 In Friday’s match against Davis and Elkins, the Golden Rams got their season off to the start they were looking for with a victory of three sets to one (25-15, 25-14, 20-25, 25-15). WCU trailed early in the first set 8-6, but rallied to win 19 out of the 26 points to take the early lead. After the slow start, the Lady Rams seemed to be in control of the match the rest of the way out, only relinquishing what was a close third set loss.
 O’Brien took her leadership role in stride in the first game of her junior season leading the team in kills (13) and blocks (4). Rookie freshmen Tommes and Halbert both played up to expectations in their first college matches. Tommes finished the match tied for second in kills with Marina Sharkey with seven a piece. Halbert had an all-around outstanding match, contributing in many different aspects of the team. She had a team-leading 33 out of 39 assists, as well as adding six kills, two blocks and eight defensive digs. The team defense was led by freshmen Callie Krajcir and Bethany Gould, who had 15 and 12 defensive digs respectively.
 The Lady Rams finished with an advantage in both kills (45-24) and blocks (10-3) against Davis and Elkins and look to carry on that success through the rest of the Kutztown Classic.
Stephen Gallo is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at SG 749536@wcupa.edu

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