The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team is back to inconsistent playing as they struggle with injuries among the veteran players. With Sophomore outside hitter Carolyn Bogart still missing from the court and many players performing in limited roles, the Spartans were unable to last through the difficult matches on Saturday against Geneva College and nationally-ranked Otterbein University.
After losing to John Carroll University on Friday, the Spartans were looking to get back to winning ways on day two of the Carnegie Mellon University DoubleTree Tournament. The team was facing Geneva College for the second time after losing to them three sets to one in a home match earlier this month. The Spartans started out quickly, taking the first set with a score of 25-16. But it didn’t take long for the Golden Tornadoes to show dominance again as they bounced back for a clear victory against the Spartans with a score of 25-14 in the second set. The team roared back in the third, fighting for every point. But it wasn’t enough to edge out the strong Geneva team. The Spartans lost the third set 28-26 and the fourth with a score of 25-19.
Several Spartans contributed to the team’s fight with many of the starters out of the tournament. Junior Natalie Southard, the team’s veteran middle hitter tallied ten kills in the match and freshman Isabelle Wagner filled in the outside hitter spot with eight kills and 24 digs. The team has shown real strength in the front positions and with defensive standouts Katie Best and Julie Colianni. However, they still are showing their weakness in the positions where they lack a permanent player.
The Spartans didn’t have high hopes heading into the match against Otterbein University and their inexperience showed as the Cardinals rolled to a dominant straight-set win over the Spartans with set scores of 25-15, 25-13 and 25-18. The team would have difficulty matching up with this high-ranked squad even in the best conditions. As it was, the Spartans only pulled together 22 kills and 29 digs as they slipped to an eight and nine record on the season.
The team looks to recover and get healthy as they head into Tuesday’s match at home versus area rival Baldwin Wallace University.