Over fall break the Gannon University women’s volleyball team improved its overall record to 15-4 and stretched its Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference mark to 8-0 with victories over Edinboro, West Chester and Millersville.
The first game took place on Oct. 8 against Edinboro, and the Knights defeated the Fighting Scots 3-1 at the Hammermill Center.
Gannon followed that by sweeping West Chester, 3-0, Thursday and then downing Millersville, 3-1, Friday – both at the Hammermill Center.
Gannon retained its hold on the Northwest Division lead, with Mercyhurst second at 5-2 and Edinboro third at 4-3.
The Knights, in the midst of an 11-game winning streak, will have their work cut out for them this week, as they face a pair of teams with perfect 6-0 PSAC records. Gannon will visit Shepherd at 7 p.m. Thursday and then travel to meet Shippensburg at 7 p.m. Friday.
Gannon’s 8-0 PSAC start is the school’s best since 2011, when the Knights also started 8-0 on the way to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional.
Against Edinboro, Gannon watched the Scots start off strong and take a quick lead in the first set, 10-7. This forced Gannon to call a timeout, but Edinboro did not let up after the timeout and went on to a 25-22 first-set win.
The second set saw Gannon take the momentum with a 6-2 lead. This lead was pushed to 18-14 after a block by Ashley McClung and Maggie Greenfield. Gannon the evened the match winning the second set, 25-22.
Edinboro established an early 11-8 lead in the third set before the Knights posted three straight points to tie the frame, 11-11, after an ace by Ally Smith. Gannon went on to open up a 23-16 edge following an ace from Toni Leitshuh and secured a 25-21 win.
Gannon dominated the fourth set, quickly taking a double-digit lead on the way to a 25-9 victory.
The Knights were dominant in all categories and were particularly strong in their serves, collecting nine aces compared with Edinboro’s four. Smith had four aces and Leitshuh added three. Ashley Kerestes led Gannon with 14 kills while Greenfield had 11 and McClung 10.
The Knights had little trouble with West Chester, winning 25-11, 25-15 and 25-17.
Gannon dominated in the kills department with 45 compared with West Chester’s 21. Lauren Sampson collected 18 kills to lead the way while McClung and Greenfield combined for seven blocks. Ashley Beyers had 36 assists.
In Friday’s match with Millersville, Gannon prevailed 25-18, 26-28, 25-11, 25-13.
After winning the first set, Gannon went back and forth with Millersville in the second before establishing a 24-20 lead. But the Marauders closed the set with an 8-2 run to take a 28-26 win. The Knights came back strong in the third set, taking a 13-6 lead and stretching that to a 20-8 edge.
Gannon won the third set with a score of 25-11.
The fourth set was much the same as Gannon took an early lead, 12-5, and kept the pressure on throughout on the way to a 25-13 win.
Sampson once again paced the Knights in kills with 16 while McClung added 15 and Kerestes contributed 13.
Valeria Torres notched six aces and Leitshuh added five while Beyers totaled 54 assists.