In their fifth Landmark Conference match, the Elizabethtown College women’s volleyball team pulled out a win in a fight against the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The match that took place on Saturday Oct. 4 marked the end of the Blue Jay’s nine-match losing streak, and was the first victory of their conference matches. “It was amazing to fight back for our first conference win against Merchant Marine. We played with heart, and I’m so proud of every one of my teammates,” junior Megan McNaul said.
The Blue Jays won the first two games against Merchant Marine with scores of 25-22, and 25-21, but then proceeded to lose the third and fourth by four and five points, respectively. In the fifth determining set, the Blue Jays led the game 5-2 after three errors from Merchant Marine, who then came back and picked up the lead at 6-5. The Blue Jays fought back with a kill and an ace from first-year Allie Traynor, and an additional kill from junior and Etownian assistant sports editor Karley Ice. An error from Merchant Marine gave the Blue Jays a lead of 10-7, which they held on to until the last point, winning 15-12.
In their match against Merchant Marine, the Blue Jays fought for 50 kills, 68 digs and 48 assists. Senior Kelci Scannapieco led the team in kills, ranking in 18, along with an impressive six blocks. Traynor also brought in 12 kills, four aces and 11 digs. McNaul contributed with six kills and 17 digs, while senior Jen Cook also contributed 16 digs. Juniors Steph High and Brynne Kirsch added to the strong performance with their 21 and 17 assists, respectively. Kirsch also contributed defensively with nine digs.
Earlier this same day, the Blue Jays could not hold their own against the University of Scranton, who was undefeated in the Landmark Conference with a record of 4-0 and had an overall record of 17-7. The Blue Jays struggled with 28 attacking errors in contrast with only 20 kills. Traynor had six of the kills, in addition to nine digs, while Scannapieco had five kills and four blocks. Senior Taylor Beck had 10 assists and four digs, and Kirsch contributed five assists and five digs. Cook had 12 digs.
The Blue Jays’ run did not get any easier as they flew to Florida over fall break to face the top USCAA team in the nation: Florida College. Impressively, the Blue Jays lost the first set by a close 24-26 against the home team and six-time USCAA nation champions. The following matches were also losses for the Blue Jays, ending with scores of 16-25 and 10-25.
In these three games against Florida College, the Blue Jays got 14 kills out of their 90 attempts, while Florida College had 42 kills. The Blue Jays improved on their number of attacking errors from the Scranton match, with only 14, while Florida College had 23. Scannapieco accounted for four of the Blue Jays’ kills, with Beck and McNaul both contributing three each. Kirsch had seven assists while High added five, and Cook brought in 11 digs combined with High’s six.
The Blue Jays also played an exhibition match at Pasco-Hernando State College on Tuesday, Oct. 7. The Blue Jays lost the first set by 11 points and the second set by only three. Continuing their fight, they came back to win the third set with a score of 25-21, but lost the fourth set with a reversed score of 21-25. This 1-3 loss does not count towards the Blue Jays’ record for the season as Pasco-Hernando is in a transition between community college to a four-year college.
The Blue Jays’ overall record stands at 8-15, with their landmark Conference record at 1-4. The Blue Jays have two upcoming Landmark Conference matches on Saturday Oct. 18 against Goucher College and Catholic University of America, at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.