Spartans struggle in UAA play

Volleyball goes 1-2 in first of two conference round robin tournaments

JP. O’Hagan, Sports Editor

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The University Athletic Association does volleyball conference play through two sets of Round Robin Tournaments.
The first tournament for the 2014 season took place this weekend as the Spartans matched up against tournament host Emory University, archrival Carnegie Mellon and Rochester University over the weekend.
Following this first round of conference play the Spartans stand at 1-2 in conference play and 11-7 on the season. The team has looked dominant at times this season and despite dropping two games this weekend, still held their own against the top level competition that is the UAA.
The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team opened the tournament against host Emory. Emory is ranked third nationally and the Golden Eagles played like it. The Spartans were unable to steal away a single set of the match and were swept by the hosts.
The Spartans kept the matches close, falling by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-16 in the three matches. Junior outside hitter Katie Best lead the team with seven kills, followed by Haley Kauffman with five. Sophomore Lauren Gurd led the team in assists, helping out 12 times, and in digs with eight.
The Spartans looked to rebound against Carnegie Mellon later in the day, but fell in four sets. The Tartans won the match after taking the first, second and fourth sets by scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-13. The Spartans stole the third set by a score of 25-21.
Best posted her first career double-double in the loss with 16 digs and 10 kills. Sophomore right hitter Marian Barton had 14 kills. Junior outside hitter Carolyn Bogart added 17 digs, Gurd and freshmen Jessica Justice split setting duties with 19 and 18 assists respectfully.

The Spartan squad finished off the weekend sweeping the University of Rochester Sunday morning in the final game of the Round Robin. Case Western swept the match by scores of 25-15, 25-22 and 25-18.
Danielle Witri lead the Spartans in the attack with 11 kills, tying a career best. Justice and Gurd again split the setting and notched an addition 17 and 14 assists respectfully. Sophomore libero Julie Colaianni posted 15 digs.
The Spartans split the burden of the weekend through multiple players and showed their ability as a team against some of the top volleyball squads in the country.
The second and final UAA Round Robin is set for the following weekend in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19, where the Spartans will battle against their remaining UAA rivals.

This second round will pit the Spartans against two more top 25 nationally ranked opponents, as Washington University at St. Louis and the next hosts, the University of Chicago are ranked eighth and 25th in the nation respectfully. In addition, the Spartans will battle against New York University and Brandeis and will look to climb the difficult UAA ladder.

However, before that test next weekend the Spartans will get the chance to rest this weekend and will play their final home match of the season in Horsburgh Gymnasium on Wednesday evening, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., against Hiram College.