Volleyball hits bump in the road before UAAs

Andrew Ford, Sports Editor

It’s been an up-and-down last few games for the Case Western Reserve University varsity volleyball team, finishing their last five matches with three wins and two losses.

The team lost their first match to archrival Baldwin Wallace University in three sets. It was a tough match offensively for the Spartans, who only recorded 29 total kills compared to Baldwin Wallace’s 51.

Third-year outside hitter Karley King paced CWRU with eight kills. Second-year outside hitter Anna Jaskoviak had a team-high 11 digs.

“We had moments to win a set, but we didn’t take advantage [of] them,” Head Coach Karen Farrell said. “They played very well, and we couldn’t earn enough points.”

It didn’t help that it was a mid-week game on the road. Farrell noted that volleyball teams struggle to excel in games that aren’t on weekends and being away from home doesn’t help.

Next up for the team was the No One Fights Alone Invitational at Heidelberg University. On the first day of play, the Spartans split their two matches against Mount St. Joseph University and host Heidelberg.

CWRU beat St. Joseph in four sets in their first match of the day. Third-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon had a solid outing with 16 kills and 17 digs. Second-year middle hitter Katie Kaminski registered 13 kills of her own with an efficient .435 kill percentage.

However, they could not repeat that success against Heidelberg, falling in three sets by a total of only 11 points. Lemon had 15 kills in this match while Jaskoviak had 19 digs.

“We played very well on Friday,” Farrell said. “Our offense played really well. I was pleased with our effort.”

It was more of the same on the second day, as the team went 1-1 again. The first match was a four-set victory over Hanover College. It was a better offensive performance this time out, with King recording 16 kills, Kaminski recording 11 and third-year middle hitter Haley Sims finishing with 11 kills and six total blocks.

Unfortunately, Lemon suffered an ankle injury during the match that kept her out the rest of the day. Lemon has been a key cog in the Spartans’ offense, and it will take some adjustments to make up for her short-term absence.

In another tightly contested match, CWRU fell to Otterbein University in three close sets. King had 10 kills and first-year outside hitter Lauren Carmon, who replaced the injured Lemon, recorded 10 kills.

The Spartans begin University Athletic Association (UAA) play this weekend. The first of two round robins will be held at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Farrell said that her team has already seen the level of talent that they will see in UAA matches. She builds her schedule so that the team is ready to compete with the best in their conference when the time comes around.

The Spartans have struggled some this season against top level competition despite having the talent to beat those teams.

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the team beat Oberlin College in four sets at home in the final tune-up before conference play.