The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Running It Back

The Golden Knights Volleyball team looks to build on its successes from last season
The Women’s Volleyball team are champions, and ready to make a comeback this season.

September 15, 2023/12am 


Erie, Pa, -– Months after an exhilarating PSAC Championship season, capped off by an Elite 8 run in the NCAA Tournament, Gannon Volleyball is finally back. After finishing two tournaments to start the season with a 5-2 record, the Golden Knights will begin non-tournament play on Wednesday at Ashland University.  

They will then make their triumphant return to the Highmark Events Center, for the first time since capturing the NCAA DII Atlantic Region Championship last November, on Friday to face Kutztown University.  

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Last season, the Golden Knights went 29-6, including a 15-1 record in PSAC play and an 18-2 record at home. The Golden Knights received a host of PSAC, Atlantic Region, and All-American awards along their run to the Elite 8. This season, they return two honorable-mention AVCA All-Americans in senior outside hitter Madde Blake and sophomore setter Bengisu Arslan. They also return the PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year and All-Atlantic Region selection, Emma Hall, at libero for her junior season. Outside of those three, the Golden Knights return seven more players from last year’s Elite 8 team. 

This year’s Golden Knights Volleyball team also features a new face: two-time AVCA All-American Journey Blevins. Blevins is an outside hitter who transferred to Gannon from the University of Findlay, and she has already made an immediate impact in Gannon’s early tournament games, racking up 23 kills in her very first match as a Golden Knight and a total of 67 kills in her last four matches. 

With the mixture of an abundance of returning talent and a solid recruiting class that is making an immediate impact, the 24th-ranked Golden Knights seem primed to make another run at a PSAC championship and another NCAA tournament birth under 17th-year PSAC West and Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, Matt Darling. Darling is currently sitting at a 386-144 record in 17 seasons and is seeking his 14th straight NCAA tournament appearance, fourth PSAC Tournament championship, fifth Atlantic Region championship, and hopefully his third final four appearance as the head coach of the Golden Knights. 

With the past success of this program, and the recent success of last year’s team, the 2023 Golden Knights Volleyball team has extremely big shoes to fill, but if the first few matches of this season have been any indication, they seem to be fully capable of doing just that and more. 

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About the Contributor
Jonathan Williams, Sports Editor
This semester’s Sports Editor for the Gannon Knight is Jonathan Williams. He is a graduate student from Bamberg, South Carolina pursuing his master's in strategic communications. He graduated with a Bachelor's in English from LaGrange College in 2021, before grad transferring to Gannon last fall. This will be his first time writing for a newspaper; however, he is very excited about this opportunity. Upon graduating in December, he plans to pursue a career in sports journalism. In addition to the paper, Jonathan is a member of Gannon's football team, and was named a PSAC Scholar Athlete for the 22-23 school year. He is also a part of Gannon's radio station: 90.5 WERG. In my downtime, he loves to play the piano, play soccer, and spend time with friends and teammates. Thank you for all of your support with The Gannon Knight!

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