With the PSAC Tournament breathing down their necks, the Marauder women’s volleyball team took to the court Friday in their penultimate match up of the season, hoping to top the hosting Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cats. Unfortunately for Marauder fans, after taking the first set they dropped each of the next three, falling to Pitt-Johnstown 3-1.
The loss drops the Marauders record on the season to 16-14 while the Mountain Cats improve to 23-9.
After winning an extremely tight first match featuring five tied scores and three lead changes, the Marauders turned to the second set. As it turned out, the tight victory may have been a bit misleading, as the Mountain Cats swept the remaining three sets with relative ease, 25-14, 25-20, 25-15. The Mountain Carts have shown themselves to be strong PSAC competitors with a 15-6 conference record.
The opening set featured an 8-point run, capped off by an ace by Mary Young, which helped the Marauders overcome what was at one point a 17-11 deficit. The set was clinched for the Marauders on a kill by junior Katie Lesinski, giving them a 25-23 win, and an early 1-0 advantage.
The second set began on a slightly different note, with Pitt-Johnstown taking four of the first five points. After fighting back and forth to bring the score to 6-5, the Mountain Cats were able to run away with the set, winning the next seven, and 10 of the next 11 points to put them up 15-7. A kill by Mountain Cat Beth Kendera sealed the victory for the home team, evening the score on the game at 1-1.
The third set appeared to be going the Marauders way, as they took an 8-2 lead out of the gate, helped in large part by kills by four separate Marauders. Back and forth efforts both both teams saw the score tied at 12 before the Mountain Cats took each of the next four points. Solid defense and excellent attacking by Pitt-Johnstown prevented the Marauders from closing the gap, keeping them at least two points behind until a kill by Pitt Johnstown’s Marissa Erminio gave the Mountain Cats a 2-1 lead on the day.
The fourth and final set of the day saw both the Marauders and Mountain Cats come out swinging, tying the set at 13 midway through. The Marauders seemed to stall at lucky number 13, however, dropping six straight points to fall behind 19-13 before the Mountain Cats put the final nail in the coffin with a 25-15 victory, giving the them the set and the match.
The Mountain Cats out-hit the Marauders in each of the four sets, committing 13 errors to the Marauders 25. Three Mountain Cats had hitting percentages of over .400 while also attaining at least eight kills, while zero Marauders were able to boast the same stat line.
Katie Lesinski led the Marauders with 11 kills, while Mary Paul came up right behind her with eight. Erika Smith and Jessica Franz finished one and two for the Marauders in assists, with 15 and 13, respectively.
The Marauders will travel to Lock Haven on Saturday for the regular season finale. With both teams entering the contest with 11-10 records, the winner will claim the No. 3 seed in the PSAC Tournament. The match is slated to begin at 4 p.m.
With both teams heading into the match up holding 11-10 PSAC records, Saturday afternoon’s women’s volleyball game between the Marauders and the Lock Haven Lady Eagles looked to be a good one.
In the end, the outlook proved true; it took five sets to determine a winner, as the Marauders fell to the Lady Eagles 3-2.
After storming out of the gate with two victories in the first two sets, the Eagles stumbled, allowing the Marauders to come roaring back to even the score at 2-2 before dropping the final set 15-12.
The Eagles were able to get off to a strong start by outplaying the Marauders in the first set, taking it by a score of 25-19. Posting an impressive .500 hitting percentage, the Lady Eagles out-hit the Marauders by a large margin, committing just one error on the set to the Marauders’ 10.
The second set was much closer between the two teams. Despite dropping the set 25-23 and falling behind 2-0, the Marauders were able to limit the offense of the Eagles and force them to commit nine errors. The Lady Eagles’ momentum seemed to be slowing down.
In the third set, the Eagles’ momentum came to a screeching halt, as the Marauders were able to take the set and turn the tide in their favor, cutting their deficit in half and bringing the score to 2-1. Hitting a match best .269, the Marauders outplayed their opposition to the tune of a 25-21 win.
Once again set on the chopping block, the Marauders weren’t about to give up hope yet. Twenty-five points were decidedly not enough to determine a winner of the set, as the Marauders played to a 28-26 victory, evening the score at 2-2. Though they were out-hit for the third time in four matches, and committed 13 errors, Millersville was able to hold on for the win and force a fifth set.
Heading into the fifth and final set, the No. 3 seed in the PSAC Tournament was teetering in the balance. Whichever team pulled through in the rubber match would walk away the three seed, the loser would fall to fourth and be forced to play No. 1 seeded Shippensburg. Though the Marauders were able to accumulate a .217 hitting percentage and committed just two errors, they dropped the final set to the Lady Eagles 15-12, losing the match 3-2.
Although the Marauders came out of the game with one less victory than they had hoped, there were bright spots during an otherwise gloomy afternoon. Katie Lesinski recorded a career-high 21 kills, while Erika Smith and Jessica Franz tallied 25 and 24 assists, respectively.
The Marauders open the PSAC Tournament with a match against No. 1 seed Shippensburg on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Raiders finished the season with a 27-8 record, including a dominating 18-4 conference record. During the regular season, the Marauders failed to win a single set against Ship, dropping each of their two matches 0-3.