Assoc. Sports Editor
Halloween came early last weekend as Millersville’s women’s volleyball team (9-12, 5-8 PSAC) got swept in a doubleheader. Finishing up a two-day stint in Lock Haven, Pa. for PSAC crossover-play, the Lady Marauders’ four-game winning streak was quashed by the Mercyhurst Lakers (14-8, 8-4 PSAC), by a score of 3-0, and Gannon Golden Knights (14-8, 9-4 PSAC), 3-1.
In game 1, Mercyhurst shot out of the gate with a .444 hitting percentage while, not to mention, not hitting a single error in the first set. Meanwhile, Millersville shot an abysmal .111 with only 8 kills and 5 errors. The lopsided opener ended up 25-18, in Mercyhurst’s favor.
The Lakers’ fury was quelled in the second set, but Millersville’s errors debilitated their chances of stealing the second set away, as they fell 23-25. After mishandling 5 more balls, the Black and Gold squandered an opportunity to catch Mercyhurst, who managed 4 errors of their own, in a slump.
While being one set away from an unfortunate sweep, Millersville’s struggles on the court continued as they hit a feeble .108 percentage. Their 9 kills still proved futile against Mercyhurst’s 12 kills and .216 hitting percentage, which led to a third-straight set defeat.
In less than an hour, the Marauders fell in game one, 18-25, 23-25 and 21-25.
The bright spots for Millersville were star volleyball – and basketball – players in high school, Sydney Gallagher and Mary Paul, each accumulating six kills. The team’s assist leaders, Jessica Franz and Erica Smith, lent a helping hand with 23 assists combined. 5’-5” sophomore Brooklyn Smith added 25 more digs to her team-leading total.
Against another tough opponent, Gannon, Millersville had their work cut out for them in game two.
In the first set, the woes of the Marauders continued. Continuing their trend of high error totals on the day, five more were slated on the stat sheet, while only killing nine. Their hitting percentage stood at .138. On the other side of the net, it was a completely different story, for the Golden Knights hit a .303 percentage with 14 crippling kills. Another poor showing in the first set yielded a 21-25 loss.
Who knew, after dropping four straight and showcasing an anemic offensive effort, the Marauders had a sudden cultivation of zeal. The second set saw some stunning volleyball play by both teams. Both teams hit above .400 and condensed their mistakes – especially Millersville.
Gannon hit an explosive .423, with 13 kills and only 2 errors. Millersville, though, engendered a stunning .500 hitting percentage, accruing 13 kills while lessening their errors to 1. The ladies happily took their first set victory of the day, 25-22.
And then the mistakes returned.
The Marauders entered the third set with their confidence above the clouds. 10 errors later, however, they finished the rest of the game engrained in the ground’s soil that was torrentially poured upon the previous Thursday evening.
Despite a noncommittal output by Gannon and their 5 errors and .163 hitting percentage, they usurped Millersville and their hitting percentage of .156. The third set was deemed in the Golden Knight’s favor, 25-23.
The final set, which was the lengthiest of the day, ended up with 58 points scored; 30 of them were Gannon’s, thanks to a perfected set with 18 kills and no errors, whatsoever. Thus, they took the final sliver out of the cake that left Millersville hungry and bereft of victory.
Senior Rebecca Roman was Millersville’s MVP with a whopping 15 kills; only one player over the entire day, Gannon’s Maggie Desrosiers, triumphed over that number. The perennial bright spot for the Marauders also had 10 assists. Franz, once again, led the team in assists with 24.
Smith was a star defensively yet again with 25 digs, while 2 others, Smith and Roman, had landed double-digit assists as well.
To rebound from a less-than-ideal ending to their trip to Lock Haven, Millersville looks forward to a three-game return to Pucillo Gymnasium during the week of, ironically-so, Homecoming.
As Lock Haven (17-9, 8-6 PSAC) visits Millersville this time around on Friday, the 25th, the Lady Marauders look to host their own fright-night to kick off an eventful final weekend of October.