The Spartans’ volleyball team carry on pummeling opponents as the squad continues to extend its eight-game win streak. Case Western Reserve University swept the Carnegie Mellon Crossover last weekend, going 4-0 to extend their streak to seven games. The Spartans, now 11-3, then traveled to Wooster on Sept. 21 where they won in four games to keep their streak alive.
CWRU faced off against talent from the east coast and the Midwest in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Starting off with a 3-0 thumping of Allegheny College. The Gators struggled to score on the Spartans top defense. The Spartans were led in their 25-18, 25-21, 25-15 victory by senior Beth Karpinski. Karpinski spearheaded the team’s strike with 12 kills. Sophomores Breana Freeman and Rachel Gulasey led the defense with 35 assists and 12 digs, respectively.
Continuing with their momentum from the previous game, the Spartans jumped ahead of Johns Hopkins University early with big wins in the first two games. Juniors Tricia McCutchan and Rachel Suchy headed the team’s attack, posting 22 and 12 kills, respectively. McCutchan, an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, earned her second consecutive University Athletic Association Co-Player of the Week with her weekend performance.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized two weeks in a row as a top player in arguably the best conference in the country for Division III volleyball,” said McCutchan. “We have a great group of talented individuals capable of beating great teams. The main factor in our recent wins and in how we will perform in the UAA competition is our ability to play together and stay mentally focused for the whole match.”
On the second day the of CMU Crossover the Spartans once again dominated, sweeping Muskingum University, 25-10, 25-12, 25-17. Gulasey, the Spartans’ libero, posted 10 digs, adding to CWRU’s No. 11 nationally ranked defense with 20.7 kills per match.
The Spartans’ second game of the match showcased the team’s other nationally ranked proficiency. Freeman posted 51 assists during the match, pushing CWRU to No. 8 in the country in assists per set with 12.4. The Spartans would win in four games, letting the third game slip away, 25-20, 25-12, 22-25, 25-9.
The Spartans struggled in their game against Wooster, coming out with a lackadaisical first game. The team would rebound to win the next three sets and win in four, 11-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-18. Junior middle hitter Ellie Lyman had nine kills in the match. Lyman was pleased with the team’s performance after the match.
“We played one of the quickest offenses we’ve seen thus far, and we did an excellent job playing up to their level. Our defense was on fire, blocking got up, and the offense was finding the holes on their side to rack up kills. We saw the higher level of competition on the other side of the new and stepped it up as a team to come out with a strong win,” said Lyman.
The team hosts a pair of home games this week on Tuesday, Sept. 28 against John Carroll University and Wednesday, Sept. 29 versus Hiram College. A pair of wins would top the Spartan’s winning streak last year of nine games and bring the red-hot team into the first UAA Round Robin with something to prove and the confidence to make a statement in the nations best conference.