Millersville’s volleyball team inched above the .500 mark for the first time since 2007 early last week.
However, it lasted only a few days as they dropped their next four matches and fell to 8-10 as they near the halfway mark of their season. After defeating Cheyney University in a doubleheader last Tuesday, the Marauders squared off against four teams from the PSAC West in PSAC crossover play during the weekend.
Millersville was in complete control Tuesday night as they opened conference play for the season and easily discarded the Cheyney Wolves in six straight sets.
The first match of the night was won by set scores of 25-10, 25-11, and 25-6. The Marauders nailed 25 service aces as a team were led by seven from freshman Susan Caramanico. Senior Emily Bires contributed four service aces of her own to go along with a team high of six kills.
The second match against Cheyney on the evening proved to be as much of a breeze as the first. The Marauders won again in straight sets by scores of 25-7, 25-11, and 25-12. The strong play of two freshmen, Jill Toronchuk and Caitlin Forest, propelled Millersville to the easy finish. Toronchuk posted a team high seven kills, while Forest contributed with team highs in assists and service aces with six and five respectively.
Three days later, the Marauders found themselves on the Western side of Pennsylvania looking to continue their hot streak of five straight match victories. Instead, Millersville struggled against their foes from the West as they lost both of their matches on Friday at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to the IUP Crimson Hawks and The Rock of Slippery Rock. The following day would be just as brutal with the team playing at California University of Pennsylvania and losing to the Cal U. Vulcans and the Golden Eagles of Clarion.
Senior Meredith Sinback did all she could in the first match on Friday against IUP by posting team-highs in six kills and ten assists, but the team was overmatched and dropped three straight sets by scores of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-12.
Later in the afternoon the Marauders took on Slippery Rock, but their luck did not improve. The Marauders hung tough in the first two sets, but shot themselves in the foot with 21 attack errors. The Rock won all three sets by scores of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-13.
Millersville traveled an hour and a half southwest the next day, and once again came away empty handed. In the first match against the Vulcans the Marauders were overwhelmed and dropped all three sets 25-17, 25-11 and 25-13.
The second match of the day came against the Clarion, who entered the match with a 12-2 record. Millersville fought valiantly but lost in all three sets 26-24, 25-17, and 25-20.
Head coach Betsy Hayden is still very optimistic for the rest of the season. “We have a very athletic team. The young players are developing really well we just need to work on being more consistent,” Hayden said.
The Marauders have done their fair share of traveling this season thus far. With all of the back and forth between Millersville and wherever their next match takes them, it is clear that at times fatigue will take its toll. Millersville however, is not looking for excuses. “Unfortunately the way the PSAC is set up, we’re on opposite ends of the state with some of the teams,” Hayden said. “But they have to travel just like us and come all the way out here. We host the next PSAC crossover and we’ll see how they play when they come out here.”
The team will be back on the road this weekend, this time in West Viginia. On Saturday, they will take on Sheperd University and Alderson-Broaddus College.