Volleyball preps for conference tournament

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park volleyball wrapped up its regular season with two straight wins, and head coach Mike Bruno’s 13-year career with the Pioneers ended last week.

The Pioneers hosted the Carlow Celtics in their final conference home game of the season last Tuesday. Point Park played Carlow earlier in the season and defeated the Celtics in four sets.

This time, the Pioneers only needed three. Point Park stole the match 25-13, 25-22 and 25-14.

“We let them come back a little in the middle of the match, but we took the momentum back very quickly and didn’t let them hang around,” setter Julia Menosky said.

Point Park out-killed Carlow 32 to 21. Kills were spread across the net, and defensive specialist Jordan Dixon even chipped in one from the back row. Outside hitter Meg Reineke and middle hitter Destiny Tucker led the offense with eight kills each.

The game was also Bruno’s last home match as a Pioneer. The athletic department announced that Bruno was fired last Friday, one day before the last regular season match of the season. Assistant coach Bridget Bielich will serve as the head coach for the remainder of the season.

The Pioneers traveled to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for the final match-up of the season.

The NCAA Division II Crimson Hawks sit atop the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Southwest Division, but that was not a problem for Point Park.

The Crimson Hawks claimed an early lead, but the Pioneers took the following three sets 25-17, 15-20 and 25-15 to conclude their season on a high note.

“All I can say is lighthearted and fun,” junior Ashley Taylor said. “We were joking around and laughing and just having so much fun to the point at some moments of the game, we didn’t even know we were up by so much.”

The Pioneers once again out-killed their opponent 46-37. Power hitter Taylor captained the offense this match with 17 kills and five more Pioneers chipped in a few of their own. Taylor finished the match with a double-double with ten digs, and Menosky completed her own double-double with an additional 10 digs and 34 assists.

“We also served very aggressive and only missed three serves total out of the whole match which is the least amount we missed all year,” Menosky said.

The Pioneers enter conference tournament weekend at 21-13 overall and 10-6 River States Conference (RSC). They are the No. 2 seed in the RSC East Division.

“We will do nothing differently than what we’ve been doing,” middle hitter Jazlyn Rozier said. “Circumstances shouldn’t change our play, we just have to be mentally prepared for whatever comes our play.”

Indiana University East will host the tournament this weekend on Nov. 10 and 11. The Pioneers play Asbury in the quarterfinal round to open the weekend.

“Looking back, this has been a roller coaster of a year, and we honestly deserve this in my opinion after all the hardships we’ve gone through together,” Taylor said. “So we will continue to ‘play for that young girl who fell in love with the game,’ as Coach B puts it, because this may be our last ride together.”