UR women’s volleyball earned five straight wins this week, making their overall record an impressive 11-3.
The first four victories came at the Rochester Institute of Technology Women’s Volleyball Invitational on Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15. At this tournament, UR earned the joint team title with host RIT, who also went undefeated. However, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Jackets earned their fifth victory when they faced off in a home match against shared title holder RIT and earned a hard-fought win.
On the first day of tournament competition, UR defeated St. Lawrence University 3-0 and Bluffton University 3-1. The ’Jackets then went on to carry that momentum into the following day to rack up two more wins. This time, the ’Jackets demolished Medaille College in a 3-0 victory and beat SUNY Potsdam with a 3-1 win.
“We did a lot of good things at the RIT tournament,” senior middle blocker Alma Guevara said. “Our defense in the front and back rows was great, which helped us a lot against the better offensive teams. And our front row did a good job of putting the ball away.”
“I think everyone played a role in our successes this weekend, so we can all walk away proud and excited for our upcoming matches,” she explained.
This impressive showing earned the ’Jackets the team title, along with host RIT, who also experienced no tournament losses.
When the ’Jackets faced RIT on Tuesday, Sept. 18, they were out for blood, and ended RIT’s six-game winning streak with a nail biting 3-2 home victory.
The ’Jackets started the first set strong, scoring five unanswered points. However, RIT didn’t let the ’Jackets off the hook that easily — they soon rallied back to lessen UR’s lead to only one point with a 7-8 score. From then on, the teams went back and forth. However, it was RIT who was victorious in the end, finishing the set strong with a 25-21 victory.
In the second set, the ’Jackets came out fighting. They scored seven straight points, forcing RIT to take a timeout and regroup. Following the timeout, the Tigers finally got their first point, but the starting deficit was too much to overcome. UR dominated this set and came out at 25-10.
Starting the third set, the match was tied 1-1. UR opened powerfully with a kill from junior middle blocker Savannah Benton. However, RIT countered and quickly took the lead. The ’Jackets soon fell behind to an 12-18 deficit.However, they were not defeated. Senior outside hitter Kelly Mulrey showed her true colors with six kills, giving UR the fire they needed to come back from behind and sink the win.
In the fourth set, RIT took the lead, and never lost their focus. They earned a 25-19 victory, forcing a final set.
Both teams started strong, fighting back and forth for the lead, however, after a timeout, the ’Jackets gained the momentum, and never looked back. They defeated RIT 15-9 and proved they were the true champions.
Notable players included senior middle blocker Alma Guevara who posted 11 kills and six assists, sophomore setter Xiaoyi Li who posted 14 digs and 39 assists, junior middle blocker Savannah Benton who posted 8 blocks and 11 kills and Mulrey, who posted 16 digs and 20 kills.
The Yellowjackets hope to continue their success on Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Elizabethtown Tournament in Elizabethtown, Pa.
Cozen is a member of the class of 2015.