Spartans, without rhythm, lose twice

Noah Crowley, Staff Reporter

The Spartans could not seem to get into a rhythm this week, and fate was not kind. The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team played two matches this past week and won only a single set. A devastating loss at the hands of the Baldwin Wallace University (BW) Yellow Jackets was followed by a stinging home loss against the Heidelberg University (HU) Student Princes.

Starting the week, the Spartans traveled to Berea, Ohio to take on the Yellow Jackets. The day was not good for the Spartans, but the then 13-1 Yellow Jackets had the wind at their backs.

Baldwin Wallace took off and won the first set 25-16, knocking a big blow to the Spartans hopes. With a set up on CWRU, BW kept their foot on the gas pedal as they cruised to a 25-12 victory in the second set. CWRU had their backs against the ropes entering the third set. They fought their hardest, but even then it was not enough. The Yellow Jackets came out on top in the third set 25-20, giving the team a clean 3-0 sweep for the match.

Fourth-year middle hitter Nikolette Scruggs and second-year outside hitter Alicia Lortcher led BW’s offense with 11 kills apiece. For the Spartans, fourth-year outside hitter Marian Barton led the team with eight kills.

As the team recovered from the burning loss against BW, they came back home on Saturday to defend Horsburgh Gymnasium against the visiting HU Student Princes.

All looked well after the first set. It went easily to the Spartans at 25-18, and CWRU looked to be back on track. But things were not as good as they seemed. The next set was a close loss for the Spartans at 21-25. But the last two sets of the match were not nearly as even and the Spartans lost them both.

The Student Princes walked away with the victory behind their fourth-year middle hitter Sarah Parker’s 21 kills. For CWRU, first-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon led the team on offense with 12 kills.

The Spartans (12-3) will have a week off before going to Pittsburgh to square off against a variety of teams in the first University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. There will be three games over the weekend against New York University, Rochester University and Emory University during the tournament.

The Spartans are hoping their fighting spirits can be revived after a week off. The team has done very well so far in tournament play this year, and so a good tournament after a pair of losses may just be what this team needs to get back on track.