The West Chester University women’s volleyball team earned a playoff berth as they came from behind to defeat Millersville University. Going into the last week of the regular season WCU beat up on Goldey-Beacom and had their winning streak come to a halt against division rival Shippensburg.

Last Tuesday evening the West Chester University volleyball team swept Goldey-Beacom College 3-0 in a non-league match inside Hollinger field house. The games were scored 25-16, 25-13, and 25-7. WCU played a sound game. Their passing was accurate and their hitters made the most of their opportunities to get a kill.

Lexi Kegerise added to her impressive rookie season registering 11 kills in Tuesday’s win. Junior Michelle Powers slammed down nine kills while Kelly Martin finished with seven of her own. The steady setter, Helen Fitzpatrick had 31 assists and Nora Jingeleski had a team high five service aces.

Including last Tuesday’s win over Goldey-Beacom, the Lady Rams had won nine out of their last 10 games and were pushing for a spot in the playoffs. With that win the Golden Rams had to keep the momentum going against two PSAC rivals in Millersville and Shippensburg.

This past Friday, WCU increased its winning streak to six games and had won 10 out of their last 11 with a pivotal win over conference rival Millersville inside Pucillo Gym. After the first three games of Friday’s match WCU found themselves down two games to one and facing elimination.

In game four the Lady Rams defeated Millersville 25-16 to force a game five. After falling behind early in game five the Lady Rams were able to come back and win the game 15-12. Overall WCU won the match 3-2; the games were scored 25-17, 20-24, 24-26, 25-16, and 15-12. With that win over Millersville the WCU Volleyball team was now tied for second place with Kutztown University; however, they clinched a playoff berth in the 2009 PSAC volleyball postseason which gets underway next week.

Ashley Focht, who had previously been fighting off an illness, came back healthy and ready to go Friday night, leading all WCU hitters with 12 kills. Kegerise and Powers each put up nine kills of their own in the win over MU. Captain Lisa Campbell registered 24 digs and five aces for the Golden Rams. Fitzpatrick recorded 40 assists and 16 digs. Morgan Litak registered 12 digs and Jingeleski 10 digs in the win. Martin posted five blocks up front.

Saturday the Lady Rams traveled to Shippensburg where they would play their final game of the 2009 regular season. Shippensburg had their way with WCU and handed them just their third loss in their last 14 games. Powers recorded nine kills and three blocks but it proved to not be enough as Shippensburg defeated WCU 3-0. Kegerise added four kills of her own. Fitzpatrick had four kills and 16 assists. Campbell, the team’s labero, recorded 18 digs in Saturday’s loss.

The Golden Rams were 23-14 overall and 7-5 within the conference. Inside Hollinger field house the Lady Rams were tough to beat. Their home record this year was 18-5. Their road record was another story. The Rams were 5-9 when playing away or at neutral sites. The Lady Rams’ next action comes in the PSAC tournament beginning on Tuesday.

West Chester University will play at Lock Haven University starting at 7 p.m. Lock Haven is ranked No. 1 in the conference this year and will be a good measuring stick for WCU.

“We are playing well right now and we played great against LHU last time around even though it was a loss,” Coach Kassie Bellaver said. “We are excited about the opportunity to reach the next level of the playoffs and we will need to play at a high level to get it done.”

WCU played Lock Haven twice during the regular season. In the first meeting back in September, WCU was defeated 3-0 by LHU. In the most recent contest against Lock Haven they lost 3-1. Every game they played was very close and either team could have come out on top.

The Lady Rams have been playing great volleyball as of late and they will look to keep their momentum going into the playoffs. WCU is the clear underdog going into Tuesday’s match against Lock Haven University.

Steven Fisher is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at SF674180@wcupa.edu.

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