Senior night for Women’s Volleyball ended in a disappointing defeat against Rochester Institute of Technology on Wednesday night.
Being the last home match, tonight’s match included the added fanfare of signs supporting the seniors, and a ceremony in their honor. Attendance was also greater than usual from both the home crowd, and supporters of UR’s rival.
The night began by celebrating the seniors playing their final regular season home match. Seniors Sara Apanavicius, Kate Korslund, Beth Ghyzel, and Megan McHugh were honored alongside Emma Dowdy, a graduate student. The five players stepped to center court as speakers listed their career statistics. The group received flowers and posed for photos, but then quickly dialed in for a match against a regional rival on a seven-game win streak.
UR took the first set in a convincing fashion, pulling away a small early lead that would carry them to a win. Bolstered by enthusiastic and creative cheers from the bench, the home team took an early lead of 8–4. With the Tigers close on their heels, the Yellowjackets carried their lead into 23–19. Finally, a great block by Ghyzel set up a set point on which UR quickly capitalized, sealing the set with a score of 25–19.
A brief time out saw the teams switch sides and regroup, preparing for the second set. Despite a few great digs from Apanavicius, who had 12 on the night, RIT pulled away to an early lead.
The game was quickly tied up but the Yellowjackets failed to establish an advantage. The UR bench continued to cheer, but the ‘Jackets chants were increasingly replaced by those from the Tigers’ bench as they slowly grew their lead. RIT’s strong blocking carried the team to a 25–15 win in the second set, tying the match at one set apiece.
After another change of sides, the third set began. After a close battle early on, RIT capitalized on the Yellowjackets’ miscommunications with strong spikes from sophomore Katie Hobler and junior Taylor Higgins. The duo combined for 32 kills and 20 digs, dominating the game both offensively and defensively. The Tigers took the set with a score of 25–19.
Yellowjackets managed to keep the Tigers at bay for most of the final set. Ghyzer and junior Allie DeRubertis helped UR come back from a four-point deficit to take the lead at 22–20. Despite this, RIT went on a five-point streak to finish the set 25–22, winning the match three sets to one.
Despite the loss, the Yellowjackets acquitted themselves well, especially Ghyzer, DeRubertis, and Apanavicius. DeRubertis led the team in both digs and kills, with 15 and 13 respectively. Apanavicius had 12 digs, and Ghyzel led the team with three aces.
With this loss, the ‘Jackets fall to an 8–16 record. They follow this with a double header in Cleveland against University of Chicago and Case-Western Reserve University on Sunday, before their match against Nazareth College in Pittsford on Oct. 23.