West Chester University’s volleyball team got off to a hot start by mowing down opponents at the Kutztown Invitational and Ram Fest.On opening weekend, the WCU volleyball team went 3-0 in the Kutztown Invitational. In their first game of the 2010 season the Lady Rams defeated C.W. Post with a 3-1 decision Friday evening. WCU swept sets three and four, after falling in the second set, to capture the victory by scores of 25-17, 10-25, 25-22, 25-23.

Helen Fitzpatrick registered 35 assists while Michelle Powers led the Golden Rams with 13 kills. Lexi Kegerise managed 11 kills of her own. Lisa Campbell registered 15 digs, and Nora Jingeleski had two aces in the win over C.W. Post.

On Saturday, the Golden Rams swept a pair of 3-0 matches over St. Rose and LeMoyne on the second day of the KU Invitational. WCU topped St. Rose by scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 25-21. They also got the best of LeMoyne by marks of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-18.

Fitzpatrick recorded 27 assists and three aces in the sweep over LeMoyne Saturday evening. Campbell notched seven digs and one service ace while Kegerise posted nine kills. Powers added five blocks and contributed offensively with nine kills of her own in each of the two games.

Against St. Rose, Julie Boblits, Kegerise and Fitzpatrick all had seven kills to aid Powers’ nine. Fitzpatrick also posted 22 assists and eight digs. Tyler Sheafer and Campbell each recorded eight digs as well.

Fitzpatrick continued her stellar play at Ram Fest this past weekend, the annual tournament hosted by West Chester University. Fitzpatrick registered 28 assists in the first match on Friday to help West Chester to a 3-0 victory over Chestnut Hill. WCU dominated Chestnut Hill at the net overall.

There were quite a few times in Friday’s match where WCU players kept the play alive due to hustle.

“I try to recruit players who have a positive and winning attitude and that means that they hustle after every ball and they expect to get the point,” said Bellaver.

Early in game two, Kergerise set the tone by blasting three kills. In game three the Golden Rams put their opponent away with their largest marginal win, by a score of 25-11. Powers recorded a double-double in the second match of the day to lead the Golden Rams past New York Tech by a score of 3-1.

Fitzpatrick, the junior setter, also chipped in offensively with six aces and was solid defensively with six digs. Kegerise registered ten kills in the win over Chestnut Hill Friday afternoon. Powers had six kills, and Dana Markol had three aces.

NYIT had no answer for Powers as she recorded a colossal 16 kills, ten digs and six blocks in game two that took place on Friday. Boblits posted a double-double of her own with ten kills and 15 digs in the match. Fitzpatrick posted 24 assists while Lisa Campbell registered a match-high 20 digs.

The Golden Rams kicked off day two of Ram Fest by sweeping C.W. Post in three straight games, by scores of 25-15, 25-17, and 15-15.

Powers continued her consistent play by posting ten kills and two blocks against C.W. Post in the morning. Fitzpatrick spent the majority of her day setting up her teammates with 26 assists. Tyler Shaffer and Campbell both notched seven digs.

In game two that took place on Saturday, Kegerise notched ten kills against her opponent Barton. Fitzpatrick added eight kills of her own and recorded 25 assists. The victory over Barton was especially significant for two members of the volleyball team. Campbell surpassed her 1,000 career digs in the win over Barton.

In addition to Campbell’s accomplishment, head coach Kassie Bellaver captured her 100 win in the victory over Barton as well. This now makes her West Chester volleyball’s all-time wins leader.

“It is a direct reflection of the strong players who have been a part of the program over the past four seasons. Their commitment and dedication hastaken this program to a higher level,” said Bellaver.

Bellaver is very proud of winning 100 games and now becoming the all-time leader in wins, though if you ask her, she gives the credit to her players.

“The upperclassmen expect to win and the first year players are following their example,” said Bellaver.

Despite playing host at Ram Fest, the girls defeated all four of their opponents and shut out their opponents in three of those matches. Bellaver’s bunch did not seem to have any trouble with the teams they faced this weekend.

As of right now, it is hard to judge exactly where this team is in terms of ability to handle competition. They looked impressive in the early games, but when they play teams in their own division, it will be a better measuring stick for the Golden Rams.

Their record now sits at 7-0, and starting next weekend they will have a jam-packed schedule full of PSAC rivals. First on the list is Gannon University which they will play on Friday, September 17 at 7 p.m. inside Hollinger field house.

After Gannon, they host both Mercyhurst on Saturday, September 18 at 1 p.m., and Edinboro later that day at 3:30 p.m.

Steven Fisher is a fourth-year student majoring in communications and minoring in journalism. He can be reached at SF674180@wcupa.edu.

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