Volleyball sweeps weekend, improves to 10-0


Neil Chavan/Observer

Marian Barton fires off a spike in the CWRU win over Mt. Union Wednesday night as the Spartans continue to stay undefeated on the season.

Everyone enjoys a little home cooking. That is why the Case Western Reserve University volleyball team had plenty of it last Friday and Saturday, winning the Marcia French Invitational at CWRU’s own Horsburgh Gymnasium. The Spartans defeated the State University of New York College at Buffalo, Thiel College, Westminster College and Franciscan University of Steubenville, all by 3-0 scores. CWRU dominated the opposition, winning all but two sets by at least six points. The wins, and a win over Mt. Union Wednesday night, give the Spartans a 10-0 record, the best start in Head Coach Karen Farrell’s career.

“They have a sense of urgency that our team hasn’t had in quite a while,” said Farrell. She added that the experienced squad with five seniors has been taking advantage of every opportunity within matches, along with a sharp focus on playing well.  

Leading the Spartans throughout the tournament was senior captain Carolyn Bogart, who amassed 47 kills, 37 digs and a .330 hitting percentage from the outside hitter position and was CWRU’s representative on the All-Tournament Team. In all four matches, Bogart led the team in kills.

Farrell described Bogart as “a really terrific all-around player.” Farrell added that she is “a really strong leader for us… [with] a real competitive drive inside her, that she’s able to share with teammates.” Bogart used an off-speed attack on occasions throughout the tournament, a technique she had been working on in the off-season.

Defensively fourth-year libero Katie Best led the team with a strong performance, 53 digs in four matches. Fourth-year setter Robyn Marks and first-year setter Shannon Carroll were setting up the Spartans’ kills throughout the tournament. Marks totaled 81 assists over four matches while Carroll assisted on kills 57 times.

Despite vanquishing the competition, there were still a few times when CWRU looked vulnerable. After winning the first set 25-7 against Buffalo State, CWRU was not as dominant in the second, scoring six out of the last nine points to barely claim a 25-22 win. The Spartans cruised through the third set, winning 25-15. The other problem match for the Spartans was against Westminster. After beginning the set tied at 14, the Spartans claimed 11 of the next 18 points to earn the win. Similarly, in the second set, CWRU was up only two, 17-15, but pulled away claiming eight of the final 12 points, which led into a dominating third set ending 25-13.

Farrell believes the senior leadership is key to pulling off close victories. “Having those seniors, I think, gives us those intangible couple points… needed at the end of a set to win a match.”

CWRU had no problems in the other two matches, defeating Thiel 25-13, 25-14, 25-12 and Franciscan 25-14, 25-13, 25-17. In the first set of the Franciscan match the Spartans claimed the game’s first seven points and the third set began with a 12-2 Spartans’ run. The first set against Thiel started with a 14-3 Spartans’ run and the third set began with CWRU securing the first eight points.

The Spartans beat Mt. Union at home on Wednesday to improve to 10-0. For a full recap look here.

The Spartans look to improve their record Wednesday at home versus Baldwin Wallace University before traveling to Pittsburgh for the Carnegie Mellon University DoubleTree Invitational on Friday and Saturday.