Despite playing against tough competition, the women’s volleyball team split their games last weekend at the two day Rochester Institute of Technology tournament, where they finished sixth.
“The RIT Tournament this past weekend included 12 very tough and basically evenly matched teams; anyone could have come out winning the championship,” head coach Linda Downey said.
On Friday, it was a tough start to the tournament, as the Yellowjackets started off by losing a five game match against SUNY Cortland. Down 2-1, Rochester came back to win game four and bring on a fifth game, which resulted in a Red Dragon win, 24-30, 30-23, 30-21, 24-30, 15-10.
Seniors Susan Johnson and Sam Carr once again led the team with stellar performances. Johnson had 32 kills, 21 digs and three aces. Carr had 41 assists and 21 digs. Junior Kaitlyn Gorczynski had 20 digs, seven assists and two aces of her own and freshman Dana Hilfinger added 11 kills and two blocks.
The ‘Jackets didn’t let this bring them down, though, as they returned to the court to defeat St. John Fisher in a tightly scored match, 3-1. The score for the match was 31-29, 30-27, 25-30, 30-25.
Johnson had 21 kills and 23 digs and Carr had 39 assists and 26 digs. Senior Andrea Wagonseller had 15 kills, 18 digs and two blocks. Gorczynski added six kills and 16 digs and junior Ariel Edelson produced six kills and one block.
“Jess Rasmussen had a great weekend for us and showed a lot of heart by playing sick and hurt,” Carr said. “You wouldn’t have known she wasn’t playing at 100 percent by her performance”
UR returned to RIT Saturday morning still riding on the high of the previous night’s win. They defeated SUNY Fredonia, 30-23, 27-30, 30-24, 36-34. Johnson had 30 kills and 28 digs and Carr produced 50 assists. Wagonseller gave the team 13 kills and 21 digs and Gorczynski had 17 digs.
The ‘Jackets’ final match was against SUNY Brockport to compete for fifth place. Brockport started out strong, winning the first two games, 30-28, 34-32. However, Rochester bounced back to win the next two, 30-22, 30-27. It all came down to the final game, but Brockport came out ahead, 15-7.
“It was tough to lose two five-game matches this weekend because when you get to that point you realize that those matches could go either way and neither team is outright better than the other,” Carr said.
Johnson had 21 kills and 23 digs, Hilfinger had six kills and five blocks, Gorczynski had six kills and 17 digs and Carr had 43 assists and 12 digs. Johnson was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Despite the losses, Rochester remained optimistic for the rest of the season.
“We fought hard and we have a big week coming up to look forward to,” Carr said.
“It was a very exciting competition and we came out with more experience as a team,” Downey said.
Rallying back from the tough weekend of play, UR edged RIT in five games on Tuesday night. At the end of three games, the Yellowjackets were down 2-1, but they jumped back to win the next two games for the match win.
The first two games were extremely close. UR took the first game 30-28 and the Tigers took the second game 31-29. It looked as though the Tigers had made their move when they took the third game, 30-19, but the ‘Jackets wouldn’t give up and won the next two games, 30-21, 15-12.
Johnson had 25 kills and 28 digs for the match and Hilfinger had nine kills and five blocks. Carr added to the game with 37 assists and five kills.
Tuesday’s win moves the Yellowjackets to 11-3 for the season.
UR will be playing at Medaille College tonight and at Ithaca College on Tuesday.
Philbrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.