Sports Volleyball

Lady Rams sweep Ram Fest, start strong in Millersville

The WCU Women’s Volleyball team closed out the month of August by hosting the annual Ram Fest tournament at Hollinger Field House. WCU, coming off of two wins the previous weekend, planned on keeping their momentum going. West Chester proceeded to win the tournament in dominating fashion: winning all four of their contests and losing only one set through the entirety of Ram Fest.

Their first game of the tournament took place Friday, Aug. 31 against Goldey-Beacom College, resulting in a three sets to none (25-13, 25-16, 25-13) loss for the Lightning. West Chester was on top of their game, with two sets ending with hitting percentages higher than .350%. Goldey-Beacom could not say the same, as they finished with an abysmal average of -.110%.

First-year outside hitter Julia Vreeswyk finished the match with eight kills, leading the team. She also contributed two blocks in the game, building off her performance last week at Georgian Court. Defensive specialist Nicki Yates led the team in aces with six and in digs with 20, while also dishing out six assists. First-year Grace Whitney spearheaded the defensive effort up front with six blocks. Fourth-year setter Jillian Grammer had two blocks and nine digs, while her 21 assists were key in the West Chester attack.

Their second game of the day saw them face off against Franklin Pierce University. The Ravens would take the only set of the tournament from the Lady Rams as they fell three sets to one (25-13, 25-13, 17-25, 25-9). Even with Franklin Pierce winning a set, West Chester dominated on the stats sheet, including a 57-21 advantage in kills.

For the second straight game, Vreeswyk topped the team in the kills department with 11. She shared the top spot with fourth-year middle blocker Allie Duffy. Duffy also chipped in three blocks. Yates had five aces and 20 digs, leading the team in both categories. Yates was also second place in assists with five. First-year Whitney led the team in blocks once more with four, already proving to be an important cog for this team on the defensive side. She was followed by Grammer with three blocks. Grammer doubled the total amount of assists that Franklin Pierce had, with the Ravens totaling 20 to her 42. Fourth-year setter Emily Ahern helped out with 18 digs and three blocks.

Their first of two games on Saturday started out with West Chester University taking on Salem University. Salem proved to be no roadblock, as the Lady Rams continued their hot streak with a quick three sets to none (25-14, 25-9, 25-13) victory over the Tigers.

Fourth-year outside hitter Abbie Dischert had nine kills in the game, which was good enough to lead the team. Dischert also added an ace, a block and six digs to the stat sheet. Yates and fourth-year defensive specialist Alex Gleason both had two aces to lead the team. Yates contributed three assists and had the team high in digs with 15. Vreeswyk and Duffy each had two blocks, while Grammer almost tripled the opponent’s assist total—11 for Salem to her 32. Emily Ahern contributed nine digs and two assists to the cause.

The Lady Rams took on Fairmont State University in their final game of the tournament, where they came out on top (25-22, 25-19, 25-13). As the game progressed, WCU became more comfortable and focused-in to win Ram Fest. West Chester finished with a hitting percentage a little under .300% for the game, as Fairmont State finished with a .147%.

Dischert led the team with nine kills, followed by third-year Rachel Robb and second-year Brianna Fisher with eight. Dischert had another well-rounded game, as she also chipped in an ace, a block and an assist. Grammer topped the team in the ace department with four while also dishing out another huge number of assists with 40. First-year defensive specialist Rachel Hutchinson showed what she can do with her game time, as she was second in aces with three. Duffy’s four blocks set the standard on defense, followed by Robb with two blocks. Yates kept her usual title of digs leader with 14, followed by Emily Ahern and Grammer with eight.

This weekend, West Chester traveled up to Millersville University for the Marauder Clash tournament. On Friday, Sept. 7 WCU opened the tourney with their first game against University of Sciences and then Bloomfield College later in the day. The momentum from Ram Fest has carried over so far, as WCU defeated U of Sciences (25-15, 20-25, 25-10, 25-20) and swept Bloomfield (25-17, 25-15, 25-15). They finish up Marauder Clash Saturday, with a break until next Friday, when they take on Slippery Rock at Hollinger Field House.

Tyler Grace is a second-year student majoring in economics and finance. ✉ TG885739@wcupa.edu.

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