The last time we had heard from West Chester University’s Women’s Volleyball team, they were faltering. After marching out to an impressive 11-0 record, the Golden Rams had dropped four straight contests within the span of two days, but WCU’s rough showing at PSAC West Crossover may have just been an outlier, and West Chester has proved this to be true during the outset of this month.
The Lady Rams rang in October by throttling Goldey-Beacom College in three sets 25-17, 25-18 and 25-14. Molly Grammar and her 17 kills piloted West Chester, as Samantha Agostini pitched in with six and Victoria Cruciani was not too far behind with five. Jillian Grammar was WCU’s assist leader with 35.
Nicki Yates and Bethany Gould were destructive defensively with 13 and 11 digs, and Callie Krajcir added nine. West Chester has carved out an identity as a smothering defensive team, and they were able to regain that mojo after seeing their commanding ways on that side of the ball abandon them during the PSAC West Crossover. Goldey-Beacom registered a grim .151 hitting percentage, and they were held to single-digit kills in two of the three periods.
The competition proved to be a little stiffer the following night against East Stroudsburg University, but West Chester still managed to yank out a win by sweeping the Warriors 31-29, 25-17 and 25-19. Freshman Allie Duffy and her 13 kills led WCU, and M. Grammar, who usually leads the way in that statistical department, was in the immediate vicinity with 11 kills of her own.
West Chester can accredit this victory again to the defensive side of the ball, as East Stroudsburg put up a revolting .128 hitting percentage. Yates and Gould were the defensive lynchpins, with a combined 41 digs between them. Krajcir also followed suit by adding eight.
West Chester then proceeded to sweep Kutztown University the next evening 25-13, 25-17 and 25-17. M. Grammar (14,) Duffy (9,) and Agostini (9,) were the leaders in the kill department, while J. Grammar set the table with her 34 assists. Defensively, the trusting trio of Lyndsey Iacobelli, Yates and Krajcir, who amassed 41 digs, held down the Golden Rams, who limited the Golden Bears to a .068 hitting percentage. Duffy, Agostini and Marina Sharkey also stuffed the stat sheet with six, four and four blocks respectively.
After dispatching of the Golden Bears, WCU rolled over a single-win Cheyney squad 25-11, 25-9 and 25-4. One glance at the lopsided stat sheet illustrates how badly West Chester roughed up the Wolves, as Cheyney registered a -.104 hitting percentage. Head coach Kassie Bellaver elected to tap into WCU’s depth during this contest, as the girls had played four games within six days. West Chester’s host of fresh faces (and legs) propelled the Lady Rams to a win. Cruciani led the kills department with 10, with Karleigh Lutz (9,) and Abbie Dischert (7) combining for 16. Yates again led West Chester with 19 digs, but Mandy Flynn and Rachel Powers both added seven a piece. Jordan Brown was at the forefront with five blocks, and Annalee Halbert led the team in both assists (36,) and aces (3.)
West Chester’s usual suspects returned to the court against Shippensburg, powering them to a 25-21, 25-20 and 25-19 sweep. M. Grammar’s 17 kills led the way, with Lutz adding 10 and Duffy 6. J. Grammar was back to her Magic Johnson-esque ways with 36 assists, with Krajcir, Yates and J. Grammar coalescing a strong defensive outing into 40 digs. Cruciani, Agostini and Duffy also managed to make huge contributions defensively, with the three girls adding four, four and three blocks respectively.
The Lady Rams finished off their winning week on Saturday with a 25-17, 25-13 and 26-24 sweep of Millersville University, pushing their winning streak to six games. WCU has also won five straight in the PSAC East. M. Grammar led the way with 21 kills, as Lutz added 10 and Agostini eight. J. Grammar put up a dazzling 45 assists and 8 digs, while Yates and Krajcir added 18 and 11 digs respectively.
WCU’s next slate of games will come on Friday Oct. 16 and Saturday the 17 against Gannon, Mercyhurst, Edinboro (Pa.) and Slippery Rock Universities in the PSAC East Crossover.
B.J. Boyer is a third-year student and he can be reached at WB806695@wcupa.edu