On Sept. 30, West Chester embarked on a five-game road trip starting with Indiana University of PA up at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.
WCU entered this contest with a 1-2 PSAC record, and left with a loss as they dropped the game to IUP in three sets (24-26, 25-18, 25-15). The Crimson Hawks led in every major statistical category, a glaring example is a 42 to 25 lead in kills. The Lady Rams finished with a dreadful team hitting percentage of .016, as it was just not their day.
Karleigh Lutz led the team with eight kills, with Amy Kovacs following up with six and Peighton Wright with four. Victoria Cruciani, Jillian Grammer and Allie Duffy each chipped in one block. Grammer also led the team in assists with 23. Nicki Yates led the team in digs with 22, and Alex Gleason also added in 13 digs.
WCU bounced back in their next game against Lock Haven, with a hard-fought win (25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18) closing the Bald Eagles out with a decisive 4th set.
Abbie Dischert jumped on the stat sheet and led the team with 15 kills, and also added four blocks. Lutz placed second in the kills department with 10, while also adding two assists and 17 digs. Yates had a strong game with 31 digs, four assists, and an ace. Duffy had four blocks, and Grammer led the assist department yet again with 38.
The Lady Rams continued their momentum as the next day they traveled to play Pitt-Johnstown, and won in four sets (25-19, 25-15, 15-25, 25-17) in a relatively dominating performance. Lutz, Cruciani, Grammer and Duffy all finished with personal hitting percentages over .300 on the day.
Dischert led the team in kills and aces with 13 and 2 respectively. Lutz had another strong performance with 11 kills and 13 digs. Grammer continued to lead in assists with 39, while also adding 18 digs and two blocks. Yates led the team again in digs with 25. Wright chipped in with three blocks, and junior Ashley Oleksa contributed with two assists.
Three days later, WCU began a doubleheader against Cheyney University. West Chester took the first game in a sweep (10-25, 15-25, 5-25) which would mark the beginning of a long day for the Wolves. WCU finished with a team hitting percentage of a whopping .500.
Wright led the team with 11 kills while also contributing two blocks to the cause. Lutz placed second with 10 kills, and also had seven digs. Yates led the team in aces and digs with five and eight respectively. Grammer paced the team with 42 assists. Cruciani and Duffy added a block a piece. Freshman Megan Shaw saw game time and finished with two aces.
Game two of the doubleheader saw another sweep (25-8, 25-11, 25-13) as West Chester closed out the road trip with another victory. A team hitting percentage of .471 displayed another strong showing from the Lady Rams as they stayed in the win column.
Lutz led the team in kills with 10. Yates had six aces along with eight digs, both team-highs. Grammer had 28 assists, two blocks, and five aces. Emily Ahern contributed four digs and one assist, and Oleksa added six digs of her own.
Kovacs had this to say on the team’s hot streak, “It has been so much fun playing this season. It’s such a great feeling having all of our hard work at practice pay off each weekend. Our team is super positive and has great vibes which makes playing so much fun and makes winning feel even better!”
West Chester ends the week with a solid 5-3 PSAC record with four consecutive wins in a row. They defeated Millersville 3-1 at home on Friday, Oct. 13, before falling to Shippensburg 0-3 the next day. WCU has a week long break until back-to-back home contests against Kutztown University and East Stroudsburg University, respectively.
Tyler Grace is a first-year student with an undeclared major. They can be reached at TG885739@wcupa.edu.