Volleyball drops 3 straight on road

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

The volleyball team ended its third four-game winning streak and suffered three consecutive losses on the road last week.

The Pioneers kicked off the weekend of road matches at non-conference Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio last Thursday.

The Cougars swept the Pioneers 25-16, 25-21 and 25-10, setting Point Park’s overall record back 17-10.

“Mount Vernon is a very good defensive team,” captain Ashley Taylor said. “In my opinion, they didn’t have any big hitters that were killing us; it was all their defense.”

The Pioneers recorded low numbers compared to previous matches. Outside hitter Meg Reineke led the Pioneer offense with six kills. Junior Carolina Urquieta followed with five kills. Taylor returned to the court after an ankle injury for a single set and put up five kills.

“Even though I only played one set out of three, it helped gain my confidence and trust on the court that I’ve been missing for the last month of being injured,” Taylor said.

Libero Morgan Dangelo headlined the defense with eight digs, and juniors Jordan Dixon followed with seven and Ali Peterson with six.

The team picked up conference play at the Indiana University (IU) Southeast quad match last Saturday.

Host IU Southeast gave Point Park its first loss of the day.

The Grenadiers took the first set 25-22, and the Pioneers tied the match at 1-1 after winning set two 25-19. Point Park couldn’t maintain the momentum and lost the following two sets, losing the match 1-3.

“We lacked focus a lot,” freshman Jazlyn Rozier said. “We couldn’t get entirely on the same page. Effort and execution were a huge struggle for us to overcome.”

Point Park nearly matched IU Southeast in kills, 46 to 47, but the Pioneers started to slack in the third and fourth sets. Taylor played her first full match since her injury and returned to the top of the pack, leading the Pioneers with ten kills. Dangelo led the defense with 20 digs.

The Pioneers changed venues and moved on to play Brescia University.

The Bearcats were the second team of the weekend to sweep the Pioneers 25-16, 25-21 and 25-22.

“We struggled with communication,” outside hitter Erica Gumz said. “Everyone was kind of getting in their own heads. We were not really talking to our teammates well.”

Taylor once again captained the Pioneer offense with seven kills, and Reineke and Gumz followed with six each. Setters Julia Menosky and Madison Weldon recorded 11 and 14 assists respectively. Weldon also collected two service aces.

The Pioneers’ overall record dropped to 17-12. Their River States Conference (RSC) record followed and now stands at 7-5.

Point Park returns home this weekend for a pair of matches against IU East and Ohio Christian University (OCU) on Friday and Saturday. The two teams stand with Point Park in the top three of the RSC East Division.

The latter match against OCU marks the annual Volley for Vision event. All proceeds from the event benefit the Team Cassie Foundation, and the Pioneers will teach a free volleyball clinic for special-needs children following the game.