Volleyball takes over division lead

Photo by Sam Robinson | Point Park Athletics
Right-side hitter Savannah Dishman and middle hitter Destiny Tucker block an attack from West Virginia Tech’s outside hitter Ana Monteiro on Friday. The Pioneers won the first match of Family Weekend 3-1.

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

After a five-set loss to Asbury University Sept. 30, Point Park volleyball ended its four game winning streak. The Pioneers are now in the driver’s seat to rebuild a new streak after a week of three straight conference victories.

“I think we focused more on our side of the net than what was on the other side, and I think that’s been the biggest opponent so far is ourselves,” assistant coach Bridget Bielich said. “I think the girls did a great job of coming in and playing Point Park volleyball.”

The Pioneers started their winning week at Ohio Christian University last Tuesday. Point Park only needed three sets to add a win to its record.

Point Park put up 42 kills to Ohio Christian’s 24. Outside hitters Meg Reineke and Erica Gumz led the Pioneers with 13 kills each. Reineke topped off her double-double with the match-high in digs with 15.

“It was a little bit of a slow start for us,” Bielich said. “But what I did like was that we got better as the match went on, and we haven’t really done that much this season, so I think that the girls did a great job of staying focused and working hard and just grinding it out.”

The Pioneers hosted West Virginia Tech (WVU Tech) last Friday to kick off Family Weekend.

Point Park took care of business in in the first two sets to win 25-20 and 25-22. The Golden Bears fought back to take set three 25-23 and even held a four-point lead in the fourth set.

“Sometimes we get in our heads when we get down by a couple points,” middle hitter Destiny Tucker said. “We have to focus on what we can do individually but at the same time stay focused on the collective goal of winning and being aggressive and just playing volleyball and having fun.”

The Pioneers earned six straight points to gain the lead and rallied to finish the fourth set on top with a 25-21 victory.

“Even in the beginning of the year we’ve had a problem with consistency and playing hard all three sets and finishing all three sets,” setter Julia Menosky said.

Menosky tossed out 44 assists to her offense. Gumz led the team in kills for the second game in a row with 16. Reineke and right-side hitter Savannah Dishman followed with ten kills each.

“[WVU Tech] did a nice job of coming in, playing hard in our gym, but I think the girls did a great job of staying level headed and not getting too worked up whenever WVU Tech got a couple points here and there,” Bielich said.

Point Park closed out the weekend with a contest against Rio Grande. The Pioneers swept the RedStorm two weeks ago in a road match.

The only difference between two weeks ago and last Saturday was the court.

The RedStorm did not get a chance to score ten points in the first set, as Point Park won 25-9. The Pioneers continued to control the match, winning sets two and three 25-12 and 25-19.

Gumz again led the Pioneers in kills with 12, while Dishman and Tucker came in second with eight each. The team totaled nine service aces, four of which came from Menosky. Libero Morgan Dangelo picked up 15 digs.

“Moving forward I think we’re really going to start being more consistent and finishing every game and playing hard every game all the way through,” Menosky said.

The Pioneers improved their record to 16-9 overall and now sit atop the River States Conference (RSC) East Division with a 6-3 record.

The team is off until Saturday when they travel to Cincinnati Christian University for an RSC road match.