The volleyball team, seeded No. 6 in the University Athletic Association, brought their record to 19-10 over the last two weeks, defeating five opponents and falling to three top-ranked UAA teams.
First, the team traveled to Elmira, N.Y., where they took on both Elmira College and York College.
They first beat Elmira 30-25, 30-24 and 30-18 before destroying York 30-8, 30-16 and 30-6.
Junior Samantha Carr had 40 assists and 20 digs in the two matches. Junior and captain Susan Johnson killed 28, blocked three and dug 16. Senior Kate Czarniak added 17 kills to the mix as well as six aces and seven blocks.
Freshman Jessica Rassmussen had 14 kills and five digs. Senior Haley Massa and sophomore Jessica Sorrentino blocked four and three, respectively, against Elmira.
When UR faced Geneseo last, Geneseo knocked them out of the consolation round of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s tournament. This time, the tables were turned, as the Yellowjackets swept the host Knights 30-17, 30-26 and 30-17.
Carr assisted on 28 of UR’s kills, as well as posting five kills of her own and digging out 13 of Geneseo’s hits. Czarniak killed eight and blocked four, while Massa killed five and blocked three.
Johnson posted 14 kills and 13 digs, and sophomore Kaitlyn Gorczynski had 14 digs and one ace.
Last weekend, the Yellowjackets traveled to St. Louis and faced another tough weekend against UAA opponents Brandeis University, Washington University of St. Louis, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Chicago.
They fell to No. 1 ranked Washington University 30-16, 30-12 and 30-24, but then picked up their game to defeat No. 5 ranked Brandeis 25-30, 30-27, 30-23 and 30-22.
They closed out the weekend losing to Carnegie Mellon 30-25, 30-23 and 30-19 to the University of Chicago 30-23, 30-25 and 30-15.
Czarniak had 22 kills on the weekend and seven blocks against Brandeis. Carr had 101 assists on the weekend. Johnson had 48 kills and 55 digs. Junior Andrea Wagonseller had 19 kills and 38 digs.
In the matches versus Washington University and Brandeis, Gorczynski dug out 29 of the Judges’ and Bears’ hits.
Senior Julie Mihalek had eight assists in the match against Carnegie Mellon. Sorrentino had seven kills in the Chicago match.
“Playing against awesome teams only makes our team better, so even though we lost, we learned something from it,” Czarniak said on the tough weekend.
They must have learned from their weekend, as they showed great skill in beating SUNY Fredonia Tuesday night.
The match against the Blue Devils marked the last home appearance for the Yellowjacket Class of 2006. They dropped the first game 24-30, but then shook out their Senior Night nerves and decisively won the second game 30-17.
The third game also proved an easy win for UR at 30-20. The final game was much tighter, as both teams were working hard for the win, but the Yellowjackets prevailed, winning 30-28.
Before their loss to the Yellowjackets, the Blue Devils had not lost two matches in a row but, after losing to Penn State Behrend last week, the loss to UR marked the end of that streak.
“This is the best home game I could have envisioned for Senior Night,” Czarniak said. “We played well, we won and everyone had a great time doing it. I’m sad [to leave], but I couldn’t imagine a better way to finish up my career in the Palestra.”
Czarniak went out with style, racking up 10 kills, four digs and three blocks in her final match. Massa had four digs and seven blocks against the Blue Devils.
The seniors were not the only major playmakers in the match. In fact, Rasmussen killed 11, dug 20 and aced five, and Johnson had her season high 34 kills, 16 digs and two blocks.
Carr assisted on 47 of the Yellowjackets’ kills as well as posting six kills of her own and digging out 13 of the Blue Devils’ hits. Sorrentino dug 19 and Gorczynski dug 15.
UR travels to Nazareth College on Wednesday. They then head to Ithaca College for the New York State Women’s College Athletic Association Championships on Oct. 29 and 30.
They will finish the season at Brandeis University, where the UAA Championships will be held on Nov. 5.
Winn can be reached at email@example.com.