The St. Louis Cardinals had their victory parade this past weekend to celebrate their first World Series in twenty years. The same couldn’t be said for the UR women’s volleyball team, and they came out of the New York State Tournament with a respectable seventh place. The Yellowjackets came into this one seeded fifth, the highest in the last five years in this tournament. Although all signs pointed to UR being a team of destiny, they fell short of their just reward.
The Yellowjackets entered the tournament with a 19-8 record and their highest seeding in recent memory. In round one, the Yellowjackets put a tarnish on the Nazareth Golden Flyers beating them 3-0. Senior outside hitter Susan Johnson had 20 kills and 21 digs while senior setter Samantha Carr added 33 assists and 10 digs. Senior Andrea Wagonseller helped to keep on the sting by recording 10 kills and 11 digs in the victory. Nazareth’s Elyse Monje had 34 assists, seven digs and five kills in the effort while teammate Natasha Villane had three aces and 20 digs. With that dominating win the Yellowjackets looked to control their own destiny, but just being close won’t get you the cigar. (In memoriam to Red Auerbach.)
The Yellowjackets went into round two ready to swarm, but after a grueling five sets against the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, the Yellowjackets fell just a bit short. Johnson had 31 kills, 27 digs and four blocks. Carr did her job with 47 assists and 32 digs but the dragon flames just couldn’t be extinguished. Cortland’s Michele Gaufman had 18 kills and 27 digs in the victory while teammate Brittany Horton recorded 59 assists, nine blocks and seven kills as the Yellowjackets got burned in a close game (19-30, 30-27, 31-33, 30-21, 18-16).
But like those great Celtics teams of the 1960’s, these Yellowjackets never give up. The Yellowjackets went in for the consolation game with no intention of losing, but fell a couple of lengths short against the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds. Unfortunately, the Yellowjackets fell in straight sets (30-24, 30-28, and 30-19) as Johnson lead the team with 14 kills, but in the end the Yellowjackets couldn’t pull off the Giacomo.
Despite not going all the way, Johnson and Carr were honored for their hard work from this past season. In addition to being honored on Senior Night, Johnson was named the Co-Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-New York State for the fourth consecutive time. Carr was also named First Team All-New York State as well. The Yellowjackets conclude their season this weekend as they take part in the UAA championship tournament at Carnegie Mellon University.
Wang is a member of the class of 2009.