Volleyball sweeps Erie rival Mercyhurst, 3-0


The Gannon University women’s volleyball team continued its winning streak Tuesday night, defeating rival Mercyhurst, 3-0, in a PSAC matchup at the Hammermill Center.
The victory boosted the Knights’ overall record to 25-3 and left them with a 14-2 PSAC mark heading into this weekend’s back-to-back road matchups against Slippery Rock and Edinboro — the final two regular-season matches of the season.
Tuesday night’s win over Mercyhurst, which was Gannon’s eighth straight, featured several standout performances by the Knights.
The Knights outscored Mercyhurst 25-18, 25-17 and 25-19 leading them to the sweep of the Lakers.
Junior Kelsey Ansec led the charge with 15 points and 14 kills, freshman Carolyn Knollman had 19 assists, and seniors Hannah Kren had 10 blocks and Jordyn Thiery had 11.
As a team, Gannon’s .234 hitting percentage was higher than that of Mercyhurst, which was at .101. However, the teams tied with 37 kills each, but the Knights had eight blocks to Mercyhurst’s seven.
Gannon tuned up for its win over Mercyhurst by overpowering two visitors from the PSAC Southeast Division over the weekend.
On Friday, the Knights needed little time to whip Cheyney, 25-11, 25-10 and 25-11, and then Saturday they defeated West Chester, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-16, on Senior Day.
Cheyney has struggled this year, only picking up three wins that were all in non-conference games.
Gannon coach Matt Darling made liberal use of his backup players in the win, and the Knights got stellar performances from freshmen Toni Leishuh and Ally Smith.
Together the duo had 21 kills, six aces and two blocks, and redshirt senior Lisa Gropler had a career-high 32 assists in the match as well.
Maggie Wilhelm added seven kills and four digs in the win.
On Saturday, Gannon hosted West Chester, which was coming off back-to-back losses against Mercyhurst and Edinboro.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the Knights were there to add to that streak.
Gannon received strong efforts from several players, including senior Kren, who racked up her 11th double-double of the season with 22 kills and 17 digs.
Saturday also was Kren’s 122nd start for the Knights, which puts her fifth on the all-time list. She also moved to fourth on the most sets played list with 433.
This weekend in particular is where Gannon will see some key matchups going into next week’s PSAC Tournament.
First, the team will face off in Slippery Rock against The Rock in a 7 p.m. match Friday. On Saturday, the Knights will visit Edinboro in a battle between the PSAC Northwest’s top two teams.

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