The women’s volleyball team competed on their home court at the Louis Alexander Palestra this weekend, taking on four different schools in the UR Volleyball Invitational, finishing 2-2. The tournament, which took place on Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7, was ultimately won by the SUNY New Paltz Hawks, which went 4-0 on the weekend.
The YellowJackets started their campaign against SUNY Oswego in a match where the home team started strong and never let up, winning in three sets 25-19, 25-15, and 29-27. Senior Savannah Benton led the way for the ‘Jackets with 14 kills and four blocks, while junior Xiaoyi Li also had a strong performance of 24 assists and 13 digs. Unlike a normal match, however, UR had no time to celebrate as their next match against Hamilton College was only a few hours away.
Despite the quick turnaround, the YellowJackets picked up right where they had left off, downing Hamilton three sets to one, 25-21, 25-14, 17-25, and 25-9. The match was a true team effort as several starters from the day’s earlier match did not play, forcing some of the ‘Jackets’ less experienced players, including several freshmen, to step up. Sophomore Jennie Ford had a strong performance with 16 kills and four aces, while fellow sophomores Emma Gira and Anna MacDonald, along with freshman Nina Baek, had eight kills of their own.
On Saturday, UR faced Skidmore College, which was coming off a four-set loss to SUNY New Paltz the previous day. The Thoroughbreds were out to avenge their loss, however, and defeated the ‘Jackets in three sets, 25-19, 25-22, and 25-23.
To wrap up the weekend, the YellowJackets took on SUNY New Paltz in a match with major implications as to the tournament winner. Had the ‘Jackets won, New Paltz, UR, and Skidmore all would have had identical 3-1 records, making a tournament winner unclear.
This possibility was not to be though as New Paltz came out victorious in an exciting four sets, 19-25, 25-11, 25-23, and 25-10. Team leaders for the ‘Jackets included Benton, who had 13 kills, Li, who had 25 assists, and senior Paige Idziur, whose 14 digs brought her season total to 89.
Despite the pair of losses on day two of the invitational, the weekend was undoubtedly positive for UR, as they notched their first wins of the season. The ‘Jackets will still be looking to improve their performance moving forward, especially at the two upcoming tournaments the team will attend.
On Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, the ‘Jackets will compete at the RIT Tournament in Henrietta, where they will open up play against local rival St. John Fisher College. The following weekend, the team will head to Pennsylvania for the Elizabethtown Tournament, where they will again play four matches in two days before returning home to face Allegheny College and Alfred University on Sept. 28.
Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.