The volleyball team started off their home stint with full force on Thursday, dominating Medaille College in three uneven games. They carried that energy on the road when they visited Keuka College on Saturday, taking the match in four games. They were unable to carry it for one more match, however, as the Ithaca College Bombers came into town and took away UR’s chance of a three match win streak, beating out the Yellowjackets in four toughly played games.

In Thursday’s home opener, the ‘Jackets refused to give Medaille a chance. The match was nearly over before it really even started, as UR took three straight games, 30-14, 30-14, 30-15. Sophomore outside hitter Emily Hunter led the team in kills with 11.

Adding to that was sophomore middle blocker Dana Hilfinger with seven. Junior Jessica Rasmussen added offensively with six kills. She also contributed four digs on the defensive side. Senior middle blocker Ariel Edelson had four kills for the Yellowjackets. She added one block on defense.

Freshman setter Rachel Bender provided 26 assists for her teammates, as well as 14 digs and two blocks. Sophomore setter Kate Lewis had nine digs and freshman libero Katie Drinkwater had six. Freshman right side Maura Hamilton added four digs of her own.

Still high off their crushing win, the ‘Jackets headed to the Finger Lakes to face off against Keuka College.

This win didn’t come quite as easily, though – four games were required to take this one. The first two went to UR, 30-23, 30-16. Keuka then fought back, causing the Yellowjackets to lose the third, 21-30. The team didn’t let this shake them, however, as they came back to win the fourth game, 30-24.

Rasmussen and Hunter led the team with 12 kills a piece. Hilfinger also made a great contribution with 11 kills of her own. Bender provided 38 assists to the offense, and on the defensive end, she led UR with 17 digs. Rasmussen had 14 digs and Lewis added 10. Hilfinger also had four blocks for the match, and freshman right side Cat Kane gave the ‘Jackets four blocks of her own.

The Yellowjackets came into their second home match of the season on Tuesday with high hopes of yet another win as they prepare for the first round of the University Athletic Association Round Robin Tournament. Unfortunately, they were unable to ward off the Bombers and lost the match in four games. However, the match was a close battle. In the first game, UR took the win, 30-27. At one point in the game, the ‘Jackets were ahead, 21-15, but Ithaca then came back on a scoring rampage to tie the score at 23. It remained a back-and-forth match-up until the score tied up at 27. UR then took the last three points to take the game.

In the second game, the Yellowjackets were ahead, 25-21, but the Bombers retaliated to make the score 28-26. The score then tied at 28, 29 and 30. The ‘Jackets took the lead, 31-30, but Ithaca scored three consecutive points for the win.

These two close games tired UR out, as they struggled to keep up in the third, losing a disappointing game, 11-30. They made a valiant effort in the fourth to play off of a second win, but, although they came close to taking control many times, they were unable to follow through, and they gave up the final game, 25-30.

Hilfinger contributed with 13 kills, 11 digs and five blocks. Hunter led the team in kills with 15, and Rasmussen contributed eight of her own. Rasmussen also had 19 digs for the match, and Bender tallied 37 assists and 15 digs for the game.

Bender’s performance against Keuka and Medaille earned her a spot on the UAA’s “Honor Roll.”

This weekend, the ‘Jackets to New York University to test their strength in the league, participating in the UAA Round Robin No. 1. UR is currently 11-6.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.

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