Over fall break, volleyball splits at Heidelberg

While the rest of us were travelling home to be with family or trying to plan our meals around Leutner Commons’ limited hours over fall break, the Case Western Reserve University volleyball team went on the road to compete.

On Oct. 21, they defeated Marietta College in five sets and lost to host Heidelberg University in three

First-year students led the charge against Marietta. First-year hitters Katie Kaminski and Anna Jaskoviak combined for 28 kills, and both had kill percentages above .300. Kaminski played almost flawlessly, committing zero hitting errors in the match. Jaskoviak performed all over the court, as evidenced by her 10 digs. She also added a service ace.

Second-year setter Faith Ellis likewise had a strong match. She totaled 48 assists, five digs and five service aces.

As a team, the match was slightly unsteady. CWRU won the first set 25-9, but lost the next two sets without reaching 20 points. They managed to secure the final two games 25-16 and 15-6.

“Saturday’s match with Marietta was a bit of a roller coaster. Our offense was unstoppable in the three sets we won. We did not play well at all in the two sets we lost,” said Head Coach Karen Farrell via email.

Second-year middle hitter Haley Sims agreed with Farrell.

“We played very up and down. Our [first] game against Marietta, we worked well together as a team and [had] a phenomenal game.  Everything seemed to click, and then the next set nothing seemed to click. Luckily, we were able to pull it off in the end,” she said.

In the second match of the day, CWRU did not fare as well. The Spartans lost three straight competitive sets to Heidelberg.

Second-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon had 12 kills and 15 digs, both team highs. Second-year outside hitter Karley King managed eight kills on 12 attempts with no errors.

Farrell praised the team’s opponent in her email.

“Don’t be fooled by Heidelberg’s record [15-11], they play one of the toughest schedules in the country … They are very strong offensively and play with a lot of hustle and heart.”

As for her own team, she stated, “We were very competitive in the match, but let a few points get away from us and couldn’t quite get ahead in any of the sets.”

The first set went to the home team 25-19. In the second set, after being tied at nine, Heidelberg rattled off seven straight points. CWRU came back within one point, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win. The third set was almost identical, with Heidelberg going on a six point run to give them the lead and ultimately the match.

Sims was disappointed in herself as well as the team this weekend. She mentioned that the team’s “mental game did not seem to be the same as it normally [is].”

According to Sims, this could be due in part to a tough week of midterms and looking forward to fall break.

Third-year defensive specialist Noel Jeansonne held the same view, according to her email.

“I think we expected the games to be easier than they were. Coming off of UAA play with the best teams in the nation can be difficult. I think the team expected an easier time against non-nationally ranked teams,” she said.

The team’s goal of 20 wins could be in jeopardy after the loss to Heidelberg. The team only has two regular season games remaining and then the University Athletic Association Championship, in which they will only be guaranteed two games. Hopefully this young team can perform under pressure.