RSC loss snaps 4-game winning streak

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

The Pioneers hit the road for a rematch against last season’s only conference loss, University of Rio Grande, and returned home for a pair of conference matches as a part of Point Park University Athletics Alumni Weekend.

Rio Grande was the only blemish on Point Park volleyball’s conference record last year. This season, the Pioneers only needed four matches to close out the RedStorm.

“We were our own competition last year against Rio, so coming out this game and beating Rio, it was such an uplifting moment for our team,” libero Morgan Dangelo said.

Point Park led the match 2-0 before Rio Grande took set three 25-22 to remain alive for one more set. Set four was all Point Park as the Pioneers closed out the RedStorm 25-11.

Dangelo returned from her ankle injury and led the defense with 19 digs. Junior Erica Gumz recorded the team-high for kills at 12 while fellow junior Meg Reineke followed with 10. The duo collected over half the total kills for the match.

Next up, the Pioneers hosted Midway University for the first match of Athletics Alumni Weekend last Friday.

The weekend began on a high note as power hitter Ashley Taylor returned to the court, and Point Park completed the sweep on Midway.

“I think we just stuck very well together and we just stayed as a team,” Taylor said. “We didn’t really get let down or anything, and I just think as one we definitely stick together and that’s something we’ve definitely been struggling with.”

Taylor and middle hitter Jazlyn Rozier tied for the match-high in kills with eight. Dangelo once again led the defense with 11 digs, and the Pioneers collected seven service aces.

The Pioneers continued Alumni Weekend festivities last Saturday with a friendly contest between volleyball alumni and the junior varsity squad prior to the conference match-up against the Asbury University Eagles.

Point Park burst out of the locker rooms with energy and stole set one 25-17.

Taylor collapsed on the court halfway through the second set after a bad landing on her previously sprained ankle.

“Honestly, I think it had zero impact because she was just coming back from an injury, and we trained with Savannah (Dishman) on the right pin, so we were fully prepared with that lineup,” head coach Mike Bruno said.

The Pioneers came out on top in set two, but the Eagles bounced back to win three consecutive sets and departed with the victory.

“We had the first two games,” Taylor said. “We played great. Everyone was together, everyone was talking, everyone was loud, everyone was having fun.”

Asbury remains undefeated in conference play with a 4-0 record.

“They’re relentless, they’re tough,” Bruno said. “They had some great kids that do some good things.”

The Eagles out-killed the Pioneers 55 to 49 despite Point Park putting up more attacks.

“It was a lack of mental discipline and execution is what it comes down to,” Bruno said.

The Pioneers even their River States Championship (RSC) record at 3-3 and now stand at 13-9 overall. The team will play another pair of conference matches against West Virginia Tech and Rio Grande for Family Weekend on Friday and Saturday.