Volleyball sweeps West Chester, 3-0


If there could only be one word to describe the season that the Gannon University volleyball team has had so far this year, that word could possibly be “historic.”
The Knights have been clicking on all cylinders throughout the year and in the last week they capped their regular season in style, and then opened the PSAC Tournament Tuesday night with a 3-0 victory over West Chester at the Hammermill Center.
The win — Gannon’s 11th straight — moves the top-seeded Knights into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal matchup at the Hammermill Center against California (Pa.).
Indiana (Pa.) and Pitt-Johnstown will play in Friday’s other semifinal, which begins at 5 p.m. The two semifinal winners will meet in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship final.
Gannon, which improved to 28-3 with Tuesday’s win, had beaten West Chester in a regular-season match, 3-1, overcoming a 25-17 first-set loss to take three straight, 25-17, 25-15, 25-16.
Kelsey Ansec led the way in Tuesday’s triumph, posting 12 kills, while Hannah Kren added eight kills and Beka Smith contributed seven. Carolyn Knollman piled up 35 assists while Jordan Thiery had 12 digs.
The Knights used solid wins over Slippery Rock and Edinboro last weekend to lock up the top seed in this week’s conference tournament.
The great weekend started off Friday with a 3-0 sweep of Slippery Rock, 25-12, 25-23, 25-21 that was highlighted by Kren, who was able to get her 12th double-double of the season.
Kren racked up 11 kills, 11 digs, two blocks and an ace to help give the Knights yet another win. Smith added 13 kills and Ansec contributed 10.
Knollman registered 39 assists while Sara Crandall had 24 digs.
The next day was possibly the most important game of the regular season as Gannon traveled to Edinboro to take on the Fighting Scots.
The winner of this matchup would be named regular-season champion because both teams had matching PSAC records of 15-2.
In their previous meeting, the teams battled until the last point of the last set where Gannon took the win 3-2. This time would be much more convincing for the Knights as they claimed a 3-0 victory with set scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-15.
Ansec had another fantastic game with 18 kills and two blocks, which earned her recognition as one of Gannon’s athletes of the week. This is the second time that Ansec has received this award this season.
Kren contributed 15 kills and seven digs while Knollman added 46 assists and Crandall had 15 digs.
The Knights are No. 3 in the NCAA Division II Atlantic regional rankings and also lead the conference in hitting percentage (.254), assists per set (12.83), kills per set (13.63) and blocks per set (2.13).
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