Volleyball team prepares for Atlantic Regional


Timothy Corso, Staff Writer

The Gannon University women’s volleyball team will travel to Wheeling, W.Va., Thursday to take on PSAC foe East Stroudsburg in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Quarterfinal.

The Knights, who will be competing in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th straight season, enter the regional tournament as the No. 2 seed.

Gannon comes into Thursday’s match off a tough loss against Clarion in the PSAC Tournament Championship on Nov. 20.

Gannon was swept 3-0, by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-17, snapping their six-match winning streak.

The Knights, who reached the PSAC Tournament title match for the fourth time in the last five years, were led by senior Lauren Sampson with eight kills.

Meanwhile, redshirt senior middle blocker Ashley Kerestes and freshman outside hitter Sam Deinek added six kills each.

While East Stroudsburg is a seven-seed, Gannon will have its work cut out for it.

The Warriors come in with a deceiving 18-10 record. They were atop the PSAC East with a 12-2 conference record, including winning 10 games in a row prior to their tournament loss to Clarion.

On the other side of things, Gannon has been playing impressive volleyball.

Led by Sampson and senior setter Ashley Beyers, the Knights currently hold a 28-6 record, including a 13-3 PSAC mark, putting them atop the PSAC West.

Gannon will be looking to rebound from a tough sweep at the hands of Clarion in its most recent match. However, Knights coach Matt Darling thinks they can do it.

“I think we were all disappointed in the PSAC final, but that’s because we are competitive and have high standards,” said Darling.

“We’ve had an amazing season, and that fact was acknowledged by the NCAA selection committee when they correctly assigned us the No. 2 seed in this week’s tournament.”

Host Wheeling University (27-5) is the region’s top seed.

Darling said that he believes the season will continue and will yield further results.

“We know that the amazing season will continue, and I think we’ll have a brilliant rebound on Thursday when we play East Stroudsburg and, hopefully, in the matches that follow,” Darling said.

“We’re excited to get back on the court.”

The game will be livestreamed on gannonsports.com.

Gannon hasn’t played East Stroudsburg since October of 2019, a match that the Knights won 3-1 by scores of 28-26, 18-25, 25-17, 25-16. The two teams have met 19 times, with Gannon winning 16 of those matches.



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