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Volleyball splits weekend series in return home

Brenden Curry
Staff Writer

Over the weekend, the Millersville women’s volleyball team managed to defeat Cheney in three sets. They subsequently lost valiantly to West Chester 3-1 in four sets.
The win on Friday night against Cheney improved the Marauders’ all-time record against Cheney to 40-0. The weekend home stand marked the first time Millersville has been home since Oct. 4.
“I think as a team we served well all weekend,” freshman Erin Harman said. “After a string of on-the-road losses, we came back home and picked up a win and battled West Chester on Saturday.”
Freshman Kelsi Ceriani’s three kills gave the Marauders a 10-3 lead in the first set against Cheney. Junior Taylor Smith’s service aces also contributed to the team’s early lead in the first set. The Marauders appeared to be sailing past Cheney at a 21-9 lead.
After calling a timeout, Millersville scored four straight points which led them to winning the first set. The Marauders finished the first set with a 2.96 scoring percentage, their highest offensive performance from Friday night.

After dominating Cheyney in straight sets, the Marauders dropped the following match to West Chester 3-1.
After dominating Cheyney in straight sets, the Marauders dropped the following match to West Chester 3-1.

“He (head coach Brian Smith) built up the players’ confidence and reminded us of what was open on the opponent’s side and corrected any errors that were made on our side,” Harman commented.
Four ties and two lead changes in the second match made it the closest match on Friday. The Marauders eventually overcame gridlocks with Cheney by scoring a 13-3 run. Kayla Wallace’s three kills along with service aces from Victoria Biggins and Taylor Smith contributed to the Marauders’ 13-3 run.
“She (Wallace) played very well and was versatile when decided that it would be a better lineup with her in a different position,” Harman said.
Cheney began the third set with a 4-1 lead over the Marauders. However, the Marauders went on the win the match after going on a 24-6 run.
Contributing to Millersville’s 40th win over Cheney were Kayla Wallace’s eight kills and Victoria Biggins’s 25 assists. Alongside Brooklyn Smith, Biggins also recorded eight digs. Middle hitter Mary Paul also assisted in two blocks.
The Marauders were able to record a season-high in service aces. Millersville finished with at least 18 service aces for the first time in a single game since Nov. 10, 2012 against Cheney (21).
Freshman Alexis Hamm collected six of Millersville’s 18 service aces with all six coming in one set. The match against Cheney on Friday night marked Hamm’s first game of completing more than one service ace in one match.
Riding high from the victory over Cheney, the Marauders then faced West Chester on Saturday afternoon. The Marauders fought gallantly despite losing West Chester 3-1 in four sets.
West Chester won the first two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-18. The Golden Rams were clawing to seal the deal in the third set. However, the Marauders managed to send the match to a fourth set.
West Chester came out swinging in the first set. On 29 swings, the Golden Ram offense managed to hit .448 while collecting 16 kills.
However, Millersville was able to compete with West Chester in the first set. The first set had 19 ties and eight lead changes with three of those ties occurring during the first six points of the match.
Millersville was up 7-3 in the beginning of the second set due to West Chester committing four attack errors. Despite their offensive errors, the Golden Rams were able to go on an 8-3 run which eventually turned into an 11-10 lead.
Millersville then took a 12-11 lead. However, West Chester scored in the next nine points. Millersville would end up losing the second set 25-18 to West Chester.
In the third set, Millersville attacked 35 times with their attacking percentage was .343. Out of the 35 attacks, the Marauders earned 13 kills while committing only one error. Five ties were present in the first 14 minutes of the third set. Millersville won the third set after going on an 11-6 run.
The fourth and final set was the closet of the match. Millersville began the final set with the lead. The Golden Rams then stormed back to tie the set at 7-7. Katie Lesinki’s kills led to the Marauders scoring five straight points to tie the score at 13-13.
The Marauders then fought back after the Rams took the lead to bring the score to a 23-23 deadlock. West Chester then won the final set 25-23.
“Since volleyball is a game of mistakes we just have to decrease the number of errors that we have,” Harman said.
In their hard fought effort against West Chester, senior Katie Lesinski recorded 12 kills which led the team. Junior Kayla Wallace came in second in that category with 10 kills. Freshman Victoria Biggins managed to collect 38 assists for the Marauders.
On defense, three Marauders reached double digits in digs. Brooklyn Smith led the team with 20 digs followed by Lensinki (15) and Biggins (10). Freshman Stephanie Kovacs assisted in five block attempts. Mary Paul also assisted in four block attempts and recorded 3 solo blocks.
“After a tough loss this weekend to West Chester, we need to bounce back for our home match against Shippensburg on Tuesday,” Harman said.