The Spartans were hoping for a winning weekend, and they came out undefeated with three wins to start out the year.
The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team opened the season this past Friday in Bexley, Ohio against the Capital University Crusaders at the Capital/Otterbein Invitational. Early in the game the two teams were close, trading points for the first four kills.
Getting back on track, the Spartans got into a great rhythm and went 11-4 over the next 15 points to take a demanding seven point lead in the first set. First-year middle hitter Haley Sims was the spark to get the run in motion and she scored five of the 11 kills during the run. They went on to win the first set 25-15.
Incredibly, the team did even better in the second set, winning 25-13. Despite the strong start, CWRU’s team lost the third set in a close 23-25 battle that seemed like a constant trading of points. The team recovered quickly and finished off the match with a strong 25-15 set to get their first win of the season.
First-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon led the team with 12 kills and second-year setter Shannon Carroll was incredible with 22 assists. Locking things down on defense was second-year student and libero Karina Bondelid by contributing 19 digs in the match, which was in addition to her four strong service aces.
On Saturday the Spartans started the second day of the tournament against Earlham College. CWRU looked solid right from the start and won the match in just three sets: 25-9, 25-18, 25-9.
Fourth-year outside hitter Marian Barton was the star of the match with eight kills. Bondelid and second-year defensive specialist Emily Wolfenbarger were active on defense with 10 digs each.
The weekend concluded with a match between the Spartans and Kenyon College. In another impressive showing, the CWRU team took care of business in just three sets—25-17, 25-15, 25-17—improving the team’s record to 3-0 on the season. Lemon led the scoring with 11 kills. Overall the team’s defense was at its best at the tournament with 62 digs, five blocks and allowing only two aces to be scored against them. The defenders made absolutely sure that Kenyon’s players worked for every point they scored.
A strong weekend like this is a showing the Spartans hope to repeat as they move forward and look to build off of the incredible year they had last year. CWRU hosts the Marcia French Invitational this weekend, playing four games in two days.