After an extended 21-game road trip, home games are finally on the horizon for West Chester University Women’s Volleyball team (19-7, 7-7 PSAC,) as they put the finishing touches on their prolonged road voyage during Homecoming Weekend with contests against Lock Haven University (15-10, 7-7,) and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (19-3, 12-1.)
On Friday afternoon in Lock Haven, Pa., the Bald Eagles dispatched of the Golden Rams in three sets (25-12, 25-20, 25-22), two of which were of the comeback variety. After Lock Haven clinched the first set by a margin of 13, the Lady Rams appeared to have been resuscitated by racing out to early leads in the second and third frames, but their hardy efforts were trumped by those of LHU, as the Bald Eagles prevailed to remain a perfect 6-0 at home this season.
Molly Grammar led WCU with 11 kills, and she was the only Golden Ram to hit the double-digit kill ledger in the match. Allie Duffy notched six kills, and Victoria Cruciani added five. Cruciani also had a team-high three blocks, as well as Samantha Agostini. Jillian Grammar added a block of her own, but her impact was felt most in the assist department as she dished out 17 helpers. Nicki Yates’ 21 digs headed West Chester, with Callie Krajcir and J. Grammar adding eight and six respectively.
West Chester struggled to muster up any offensive firepower this contest, as they were held to a hitting percentage of .089, including .025 in the second set. Lock Haven’s accuracy fell on the opposite end of the efficiency spectrum, as their hitting percentage was a strong .218 for the match, including a .344 mark in the first frame, which happened to be the most lopsided of the match. The loss to the Bald Eagles was WCU’s first loss to a PSAC-East opponent this season.
The Lady Rams were then swept again on Saturday afternoon by University of Pittsburg at Johnstown in Johnstown Pa., dropping three straight sets by the scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-20. M. Grammar again led the Golden Rams with 14 kills, with Duffy adding seven and Cruciani five.
Cruciani also had four blocks, with M. Grammar (2) and Agostini (2) combining to notch four more. J. Grammar dished out 24 assists, with Yates adding six, and Yates also governed the digs division with 16. Callie Krajcir and Annalee Halbert both added 11 digs of their own.
Although West Chester raced out to an early 5-1 lead in the first set, the Mountain Lions responded with a seven-point run, with five of those points coming on WCU errors.
With the victory the Mountain Lions held on to first place in the PSAC East, in addition to becoming the first East team to win 20 games. WCU registered a hitting percentage of .099, illustrating how they struggled to find any traction offensively in this match. Meanwhile, the Mountain Lions had a hitting percentage of .238, and capitalized on WCU’s blunders to eek out this one.
West Chester returns to Hollinger Fieldhouse on Oct. 30th at 7:00 PM to square off against Kutztown University (5-20, 3-11) in their first home game since Sept. 9th, followed by a match the next day at 2:00 PM against East Stroudsburg University (6-18, 1-13.)
B.J. Boyer is a third-year student and he can be reached at WB806695@wcupa.edu