Before Saturday’s match up with Slippery Rock, the Millersville volleyball team has been virtually unstoppable on their home court winning 18 straight inside Pucillo Gymnasium.
The Marauders had a tremendous opportunity to push that streak to 19 with a win over the 7-13 Rock. It was an achievable task for Millersville, but Slippery Rock showed right off the first serve that they weren’t messing around.
The first set was by far the most contested by Slippery Rock as Millersville’s attack struggled vigorously. Throughout the whole set, the Marauders had a depressing .176 hit percentage totaling just 13 kills on 51 attempts.
Millersville had the lead late in the first set up 24-23, when the Rock evened the score on a kill from Kaley Fucci. The Marauders quickly responded with a combined block from Jayci Suseland and Chyna Gubbings to put Millersville at a 25-24 advantage. Fucci wasn’t done being a thorn in the Marauders side just yet as she capitalized on another kill once again tying the score at 25.
A Millersville hitting error gave the Rock the lead in the set, but the Marauders continued to battle. A kill from Millersville’s Katie Laughman, and another combined block from Suseland, this time with teammate, Carley Baughman, the Marauders sealed a first set victory and set the tone for the rest of the match.
After a thrilling first match, the Rock stood no chance against the Marauders. The next two sets were dominated by Millersville winning 25-17 in both. The Marauders out hit the rock .286-.093 in the second set and .344-.167 in the third to capture the clean sweep.
Despite Millersville’s miscues in the first set with their attack not being as strong as coach Brain Smith would have liked, the Marauders still pulled it together and got back to playing the outstanding volleyball they have been all season.
Kate Forry led the team with 20 digs followed by Lindsey Blevins who recorded a season-high 19. Laughman got in on the party with 10 digs of her own which went nicely next to her 36 assists, one block, and two kills.Suseland was the only Marauder to have double digit kills, racking up 15 with a hitting percentage of .440.
With a hard-fought win in the book, the Marauders extended their record to 17-6 and improved in PSAC play to 7-3. Slippery Rock dropped to an abysmal 7-14, just going 2-8 in PSAC play so far this year.
Millersville’s play on Saturday was impressive and though they have been dominant inside Pucillo, they will hit the road next week for back to back PSAC matches. They will have a tall order ahead as they will take on PSAC Southeast Division leading Shepherd and Shippensburg on Friday and Saturday.