Volleyball survives 5-set RSC match


Photo by Sam Robinson | Point Park Athletics

Junior outside hitter Meg Reineke anticipates the opposing team’s next serve, Reineke led the Pioneers with 18 kills against CCU last Saturday.

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

The Pioneer volleyball team maintained its spot atop the River States Conference (RSC) East Division after a five-set victory over Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) last Saturday.

“We struggled a little bit, but for the most part we just had to stay focused on the main goal and not sweat it,” junior Erica Gumz said.

The Pioneers spent the week before traveling to Cincinnati practicing for the lone match of the week.

CCU kicked off set one with a 25-21 victory before Point Park turned the table and stole the following two sets 25-13 and 25-20.

The Eagles answered with a 25-18 win in the fourth set to tie the match and force a fifth set.

“We were really inconsistent this weekend,” setter Julia Menosky said. “We would be up one minute, then they would get a couple of points and we would dig ourselves into a hole.”

CCU held the upper hand at three match points, but the Pioneers pushed through to take set five 19-17.

“The fifth set we really wanted to win,” Menosky said. “It got really nerve wracking but everyone did a good job focusing on the little things and giving it all every point.”

Heading into the match, the Pioneers boasted two players to watch: Menosky and Gumz. Menosky received her third honor as RSC Setter of the Week, and Gumz earned her first title of RSC Attacker of the Week Oct. 9.

“I’ve never really experienced something like this, and it’s just a good feeling,” Gumz said. “Having one of our other attackers out just kind of motivated me to step up to the plate for my team and knowing it paid off feels great. I couldn’t have done it without Julia.”

Menosky also credits the honor to her teammates.

“It’s an honor and it makes me want to work harder every practice and every game because I want to get it more, but I owe all of it to my team,” Menosky said. “I could not have gotten it without them.”

The duo did not fail to produce.

Menosky totaled a career-high 61 assists, and Gumz recorded the second-highest number of kills with 16.

The rest of the Pioneers put up points across the board.

The team tallied a season-high 63 kills. Outside hitter Meg Reineke led the way with 18 kills. Right-side hitter Savannah Dishman and middle hitters Jazlyn Rozier and Destiny Tucker chipped in nine kills each.

Libero Morgan Dangelo captained the defense with 14 digs, and Reineke completed her double-double with 12 digs. Junior defensive specialist Morgan Dixon and Menosky added nine digs apiece.

The team expanded its winning streak to four straight matches and has won eight of its last nine.

The Pioneers improved their overall record to 17-9 and 7-3 in conference play. They enter the week tied with Indiana University East for the top record in the RSC East.

Point Park will play a non-conference match on Thursday at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. The Pioneers previously lost to the Cougars at the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament hosted by the University of Rio Grande on Sept. 1.

“I think we’ve improved a lot with [team chemistry],” Rozier said. “We used to individualize a lot, but we don’t anymore, so I don’t think that will be an issue.”