This past week was a successful one for the UR women’s volleyball team. The Yellowjackets notched two wins to increase their win streak to three games. On thursday, Medaille College fell victim to UR by a count of 3-0, and the team carried out a hard fought, 3-2victory over St. John Fisher University on Tuesday.

The Medaille game came the night after a grueling 3-2 win over SUNY Geneseo, so the team was tired, but Medaille is a team that the Yellowjackets were expected to beat. Despite a slight struggle in the first game, UR controlled the entire game winning in three games, 30-25, 30-18, 30-16.

Freshman Blair Nonaka led the team in kills and digs with 14 and 16 respectively, while sophomore co-captain Liz Loveless led UR in assists with 41.

The Fisher game was a true sign of improvement for the team. Earlier in the year UR fell to Fisher 3-0 and just did not have what it took that night. However, on tuesday the team came to play, and they outlasted Fisher for the 3-2 win. The game scores were 30-23, 28-30, 23-30, 30-24, 20-18.

The contest was stressful, filled with many ups and downs. In the fifth game, UR was down 8-4 but they showed their resiliency and came back to tie the game at 12 all. From this point the game was tight and worked its way to 18-18 before UR could string together two straight points to win game five 20-18, and the match three games to two.

“We stuck with it on every point, and we never gave up. Pulling out that game was a huge for our team,” Loveless said. The chemistry for UR was at the level it needed to be in order to beat the Cardinals of Fisher. “This game was probably the best we have played, as a whole, all season,” Loveless said.

Nonaka hit the ball well on this night, repeating as the team’s leader in kills, converting 23. The most important of these kills might have been the game winner which was assisted by Loveless, who was the assist leader for the Yellowjackets with 45, and junior Melissa Arms led the team in digs with 17.

The key to this game was playing within themselves. The Yellowjackets played a smart game, and every individual played their position well. The team’s attitude was great and they showed confidence in each other. “We went out there fired up, each individual had the intensity that we needed to win the game,” said Loveless.

With the two wins UR has improved to 12-15 on the season. They will take their win streak to Hamilton College this weekend, where they will play key games against Hamilton and Vassar College. These teams will be formidable challenges for UR, but if the Yellowjackets can come up with two wins, their chances for making the New York State Tournament will be greatly improved.

To make the tournament the Yellowjackets must have at least a .500 winning percentage against New York opponents, and must have quality wins. Wins against these two teams along with wins against SUNY Fredonia, Geneseo and Fisher will all but ensure the Yellowjackets’ trip to the post-season tournament.

Fitzsimmons can be reached at ,a href=””>

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