WVB: Colonels split Saturday non-conference match-up

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The women’s volleyball team played in a non-conference tri-match on Sept. 25 in the Marts Center. The Colonels were able to split the games by defeating John Jay College before losing to Montclair State University.

Wilkes was able to get off to a quick start against the Bloodhounds of John Jay in their first match of the day. John Jay committed numerous serving errors.

The Colonel hitters were able to get into a groove early, punishing the Bloodhounds for weak defensive coverage.

“I knew going into today that these were going to be two good games, so I just came in with a positive mindset and just played my game,” said sophomore opposite hitter Hope Ousey. “I knew I just had to swing hard and play smart which helped out my game today a lot.”

Ousey had a team high nine kills in the match against John Jay.

Wilkes was able to sweep the match in straight sets thanks to their stellar defense and impressive offense. The team was firing on all cylinders as they cruised to an easy victory.

“John Jay did not put up much of a block,” said head coach Joseph Czopek. “Our

hitters were really picking and choosing their shots, and the passing was solid as always, which always leads to good offense.”

Kelsey Carroll was especially impressive as she tied Ousey with nine kills. The junior opposite hitter was there for the kill whenever the Bloodhounds came within striking distance. She had three kills and a block in the final stretch to lock up the set and the match.

“I have definitely tried to step up as an upperclassman, especially being on the court a lot more than in the past,” said Carroll. “I have learned how to step up.”

In their second match of the day, the Colonels were unable to find the same groove they had earlier. The Redhawks of Montclair State were able to pick up the win by sweeping Wilkes 3-0.

“Montclair is big and they are senior heavy. There is a ton of experience fighting there,” said Czopek. “I thought our girls did a nice job. They just outlasted us in the end.”

The final score of the Colonels being unable to win a set is not indicative of how the game played out. There were multiple rallies throughout the match that lasted upwards of 30 seconds. The intensity in the gym and between the two teams was very high.

“They were definitely some big blockers. A little bit bigger than what we were used to,” said Carroll. “We just knew we had to cover our hitters, and be ready for the ball to be sent back.”

It always looked like Wilkes was going to get a point with a huge hit from one of their players; however, the Redhawks front line was just too big and seemed to get their hands on every ball. This slowed down the Colonel offense that was clicking on everything earlier.

In the final two sets, Wilkes was tied with Montclair State late.

A few mental errors by the Colonels allowed the opposition to pick up their second win of the day, as Montclair State defeated John Jay as well.

“I am very proud of the team and how we did today, both mentally and physically,” said Ousey. “These two games were the best we have played this season, so it’s amazing to see how good we are so early into the season. It gives me a lot of confidence that we have time for improvement and for us to become a great team.”

The Colonels will look to build off their positive momentum on Thursday as they travel to Neumann University. Wilkes will play at home on Saturday for Homecoming Weekend as they face Albright College and the City College of New York.

The Beacon/Ariel Reed – Hope Ousey records a kill against John Jay