by Lora Marden
The women of the UR volleyball team improved their overall record to 2-7 after hosting a four-way invitational tournament last Saturday in the Louis Alexander Palestra. The tournament included Alfred State University, SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Geneseo.
The Yellowjackets overpowered Alfred State in three out of five games to defeat them 26-30, 30-22, 23-30, 30-20, 16-14.
According to coach Dawn Kelly, freshman setter Liz Loveless and mid-dle blockers ? senior Rachel Billings and freshman Kristen Vogt ? are instrumental to the team?s offense.
The Yellow-jackets fought hard against Fredonia going into their last game, tied at two apiece ? 28-30, 30-26, 19-30, 30-26 ? before succumbing to Fredonia in the final game with a score of 7-15.
In their last match of the day, the Yellowjackets played four close games, losing in the end 26-30, 30-25, 26-30, 30-32 against SUNY Geneseo. Rochester was 1-2 overall in the tournament. Despite the losing record, according to Kelly, there is a lot of potential in the team that a record simply can?t depict.
?I think our record is deceiving, we?re playing very good volleyball,? Kelly said. ?If we continue to improve at the rate we have been, the wins will come.?
However, with starter senior captain Megan Harvey and freshman Sarah Zimet sidelined with injuries, Kelly says that the rest of the team has had to pick up the slack. So far, the Yellowjackets have all stepped up to the challenge.
Despite being debilitated, Harvey has nothing but positive things to say about her team.
?We are going to be a great team this year,? Har-vey said. ?We have amazing freshmen, and our sophomores came back much improved from last year.?
?The young players on the team are contributing and are making us successful,? she said.
Overall, Harvey says that the strength lies in the combination of solid experience and fresh talent.
?I think that the best part of our team is the depth of talent that we have,? she said. ?Every single person on the bench can come in and play well enough to hold their own.?
Leading the team this year are Harvey and three other captains ? junior Candis White, sophomore Sara Korol and Loveless.
The women also welcomed the addition of new assistant coach Adam Goldfarb, a recent Tufts University graduate.
According to Harvey, the team is looking forward to a winning season.
?I think we have a good chance at being successful this year,? she said. ?We have all the skills and talent. We just need to find the mental toughness that it takes to be a winning team.?
The Yellowjackets will be away for the next two games before they face home action again.
UR will be playing in a tournament at John Carroll University this Saturday and will spike next at the Rochester Institute of Technology Tuesday.
Marden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.