The Spartans achieved the amazing feat of five victories in five games played this week. Their first home game of the season was Sept. 7, against John Carroll University, and that was followed by four more home games at the Marcia French Tournament. The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team showed that they are a team to be feared as they improved their record for the season to an outstanding 8-0.
To begin the five game run, the Spartans played against John Carroll. The first set was a foretelling of the rest of the match as the Spartans barely slid into a victory with a 25-23 score. The next set was not nearly as close, but CWRU remained on top. However it was after the beginning of the third set that things began to falter.
John Carroll won the third set 25-16 and the fourth set by five points. Something sparked for the Spartans, though, and they came through in the final set to take the win. First-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon and first-year middle hitter Haley Sims collectively scored 35 hits during the match to lead the way.
Then came the Marcia French Tournament on Sept. 9. The annual tournament was hosted by CWRU and Baldwin Wallace University (BW) with games being played at CWRU as well as on BW’s campus. The Spartans played all of their games on home turf during the tournament inside the Veale Athletic Center defending their very own Horsburgh Gymnasium.
Beginning the tournament, the Spartans matched up against the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers. The Spartans again barely won their first set going 25-23 and then lost their second set by a margin of five points. The third set was even worse as the Spartans lost 25-15.
However the team pulled everything together and took the fourth set to even things up. Then they took the final set 15-6 to win the match. The Tigers provided a very tough match, but fell to 4-2 on the year with the loss.
Following the close win against the Tigers, CWRU played against the Berry College Vikings Friday night. The Vikings took the first set 25-17 and then again took the second set 25-19, going up two to nothing against the Spartans.
But thanks in large part to Sims, the Spartans got back on their feet and took the third set by three. Continuing with the momentum, CWRU won the next set 25-20 to even things up. Going into the final set, both teams looked really good and the score was neck-and-neck. Clutch play from the Spartans secured the fifth set with a 15-13 difference to win the set.
Saturday afternoon began much smoother for CWRU as they went into a match against the Defiance College Yellow Jackets. Although the first set was lost by only a margin of two points, the Spartans continued on from there to win each set by at least a margin of eight points and took the match.
To finish off the weekend and tournament, the Spartans went up against the Bethany College Bisons. The Bisons were able to take the first and fourth sets, but CWRU took the ones in between. When the fifth and final set came along, the Spartans didn’t look back as they floored the gas pedal to finish off their weekend, winning 15-6.
After the incredible weekend, Sims was named the Spartans’ representative on the All-Tournament team after getting 43 kills, 10 blocks and 11 digs during the tournament, all while hitting at .500. To have a first-year dominating like this is exciting as Spartans fans look forward to the next few years of volleyball.
The team has been battle-tested and proven itself to be confident in times of trouble. The team’s next match is this weekend, Sept. 16-17. They partake in the Bishop Invitational at Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU), with the Spartans slated to play four games there. The week will be hopefully full of five more victories for the Spartans, so keep up-to-date with the winning squad.