Volleyball team peaks as PSAC action begins

With obvious passion, the women of the Gannon University volleyball team have proven that being a successful team both on and off the court entails having a reason to want to win.

Not only have they shown how much they are dedicated to the team with early practices, long hours on the court, daily workouts and even longer hours preparing mentally they have shown how much they want to win.

Not everybody has the mentality to stay with all of this commitment and hard work, but these women are leading examples. They have shown this by beating some of their hardest competitors and making a strong impact on this year’s season.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crossover tournament held in Indiana, Pa., during the weekend was successful in every way for the Knights. They came away with three wins with 3-0 sets against Seton Hill University, West Virginia Wesleyan College and Alderson-Broaddus College.

They first beat Seton Hill – 25-21, 25-18, 25-19 – on Friday and then beat West Virginia Wesleyan – 25-22, 25-17, 25-18 – and Alderson-Broaddus – 25-11, 25-14, 25-14 – on Saturday.

Coach Matt Darling, an assistant professor in Gannon’s English department, said that although he thinks the team hasn’t quite hit its stride yet this season, he liked many of the things he saw this weekend.

“Sarah Glancy was terrific,” he said. “I’ve been hoping that someone on the team would be ready to extend her game beyond her comfort zone to help the team, and Sarah did that. If a few more players put in that kind of mental and physical effort every match, we can get where we want to be.”

The team’s hard work is clearly paying off. With a 5-2 home turf record and an overall 8-2 mark, the team has its sights set high. This weekend, the Knights will take on Millersville University and Lock Haven University Friday during the PSAC East-West crossover tournament, held at Lock Haven.

Millersville, home of the Marauders, has an overall record of 6-4 and Lock Haven, home of the Bald Eagles, has an overall record of 3-5. Millersville’s kills/set percentages are only 11.5 percent, while Lock Haven has 11.8 percent. The Knights, meanwhile, have 13.6 percent.

With Gannon’s block average of 55.5 percent and its dig percentage at 14.4 , the Knights should have another successful weekend.

In previous years Gannon has had matches against both

Millersville and Lock Haven. They beat both teams with ease in every set. When facing Lock Haven last September, Gannon dominated each set with victories of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-17. Then, just a day later, they continued their success when they beat Millersville with 25-15, 25-15 and 25-19.

The Knights will also play Shippensburg University and East Stroudsburg University this weekend, at the PSAC East-West crossover tournament hosted at East Stroudsburg Saturday.

The tournament is held to decide which teams from the East and West sections of the PSAC conference. It consists of Millersville, Lock Haven, Shippensburg, East Shippensburg, California University of Pennsylvania, Chenney University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, Mercyhurst University, West Chester University, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University, Slippery Rock University, the University of Findlay and, of course, the Knights.

 

BECKY HILKER

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