The UR volleyball team won two more games this past weekend, improving their record to 6-1 by winning four straight matches. UR beat SUNY Oswego 3-0 and pulled off a well-earned win over SUNY Geneseo 3-2 a few hours later.
The win over Oswego was a cinch. In the end, the score was 30-11, 30-7, 30-15. Senior Liz Loveless had 35 assists while sophomore Susan Johnson had 14 kills and 11 digs. Junior Haley Massa had six kills and senior Grace Kraay had 16 digs and two aces.
It was a very different story in the game against Geneseo. The team struggled to win as the final score was 28-30, 31-29, 31-29, 25-30, 15-9. Loveless continued her passing dominance with 38 assists. She also added 22 digs to her game. Kraay had 33 digs and two aces while Johnson had 19 kills and 25 digs. In addition, senior Kristin Vogt had 12 kills and six blocks.
The scores for each game were kept close, as Geneseo stayed tough while managing to block 16 of UR’s potential kills. After Geneseo tied the match at the end of the fourth game, the Yellowjackets became tired and weary. However, they got together at the huddle and encouraged each other not to give up.
“We played five close games and never gave up,” Kraay said. “When we were tired, we motivated each other and it paid off. We went away with an amazing win.”
“Everyone on the team stepped up on defense and communicated more in the fifth game and that helped us come out on top,” Loveless said.
Geneseo displayed their dominance over Oswego. Their players had powerful hits and effective blocks. Massa and Johnson, UR’s outside hitters, had trouble getting crucial hits to win points.
“Geneseo is a much stronger team than Oswego,” Massa said. “They have two very good freshmen outside hitters, and they put up strong blocks on our outside hitters.”
These wins over the weekend show us that this year’s volleyball team is very different from last year. At the pace they are currently on, they will certainly beat last year’s record of 20-12. With their 6-1 record, they are only one and a half wins behind last year’s University Athletic Association finalist New York University and two and a half wins behind Carnegie Mellon University.
Sophomore Susan Johnson said, “We have been working on cutting down the errors that we made against Geneseo so that when we get into the tougher conference play we are ready to take on some of the best teams in the country.”
UR’s upcoming games are on Wednesday at Medaille College and on both Saturday and Sunday at the Rochester Institute of Technology tournament.
Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.