Spartans split in final regular season conference action

Andrew Ford, Staff Reporter

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After a disappointing September, the Case Western Reserve University volleyball team has gotten back on track in October with a 2-2 record over their last four matches.

Against Heidelberg University, one of the best teams in the region, the Spartans fell three sets to one on Oct. 10. CWRU couldn’t put together an efficient offensive attack in that game. The team only managed a .160 kill percentage, while Heidelberg had a .239 kill percentage. Fourth-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon led the team with 13 kills, followed by fellow fourth-year outside hitter Karley King with 11. Fourth-year setter Faith Ellis contributed 23 assists. 

The Spartans rebounded nicely with a 3-2 victory over Hiram College on Oct. 16. CWRU lost the first set, but gained momentum after a tough 30-28 win in the second set. They took the third game in dominant fashion, 25-13, but lost the fourth. Then they squeaked out a 15-13 victory in the last game to ensure the win.

Lemon again led the team offensively, recording 20 kills. Fourth-year middle hitter Haley Sims and third-year middle hitter Katie Kaminski combined for 23 kills at the net. The defense stepped up well in this match, holding Hiram to a lowly .109 kill percentage and totaling 110 digs as well as 7 blocks.

That weekend, on Oct. 20, CWRU hosted the third UAA Round Robin and split a pair of games with No. 1 Emory University and the University of Rochester.

The Spartans put up a good fight against the top-ranked team in the nation, even though they lost in four sets. After dropping the first set 18-25, CWRU stormed back with a win in the next set. They lost the next two sets 23-25 and 21-25.

Lemon and Sims paced the Spartans’ offense with 12 and 11 kills respectively. Third-year libero Jana Giaquinto and Kaminski contributed 19 digs apiece in the effort. 

CWRU finished their weekend with a solid four-set victory over Rochester, 25-15, 25-23, 20-25 and 25-14. First-year setter Sara Rogers had a team-high 18 assists and also recorded 11 digs. Giaquinto had a stout defensive match with 26 digs. Sims added 14 kills. 

The Spartans finished the regular season sixth in the UAA. They have a few games remaining before the UAA tournament and an automatic berth to the DIII NCAA Championship is still at stake. 

Our team has kept up a positive spirit despite some challenging results and our bench has been incredible bringing energy and enthusiasm and supporting their teammates in their efforts,” said Head Coach Karen Farrell. On Nov. 2 the team will celebrate the senior class with games at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.