Volleyball drops three matches, two in RSC play

Freshman+Taylor+Small+%28left%29+and+junior+Jazlyn+Rozier+%28right%29+go+up+for+a+block+against+a+West+Virginia+Tech+attacker+last+week.+The+Pioneers+went+1-3+and+0-2+in+RSC+play+to+finish+up+this+past+week.
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Volleyball drops three matches, two in RSC play

Freshman Taylor Small (left) and junior Jazlyn Rozier (right) go up for a block against a West Virginia Tech attacker last week. The Pioneers went 1-3 and 0-2 in RSC play to finish up this past week.

Freshman Taylor Small (left) and junior Jazlyn Rozier (right) go up for a block against a West Virginia Tech attacker last week. The Pioneers went 1-3 and 0-2 in RSC play to finish up this past week.

Photo by Nick Koehler

Freshman Taylor Small (left) and junior Jazlyn Rozier (right) go up for a block against a West Virginia Tech attacker last week. The Pioneers went 1-3 and 0-2 in RSC play to finish up this past week.

Photo by Nick Koehler

Photo by Nick Koehler

Freshman Taylor Small (left) and junior Jazlyn Rozier (right) go up for a block against a West Virginia Tech attacker last week. The Pioneers went 1-3 and 0-2 in RSC play to finish up this past week.

Written By Dara Collins, Editor-Elect

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The volleyball team defended their top spot in the River States Conference East division last week, but winning wasn’t part of its defense.

“We know what it feels like to lose now,” freshman outside hitter Taylor Small said. “We know how hard it is going to be to stay [number] one, and we are willing to put in the effort and work to show we are number one.”

The Pioneers basked in one win last week at the Notre Dame (Ohio) non-conference tri-match in South Euclid, Ohio, on Oct. 1.

Point Park trailed Ursuline College 2-1 before kicking into high gear and winning the last two sets of the match by scores of 25-20 and 15-10.

Six Pioneers contributed to the team’s 64 total kills. Senior Maria Ferragonio crushed 12 balls to set the pace, senior Haley English and junior Jazlyn Rozier put down 11 and Kristy Lippert, Madison Sima and Small chipped in 10 kills each.

English also collected five of Point Park’s nine service aces and 17 digs for a double-double. Also finishing with double-doubles were Ferragonio (22 digs), Rozier (11 digs) and setter Julia Menosky with 27 assists and 17 digs.

The Pioneers dropped the opening game of the tri-match against host Notre Dame. The Falcons swept the Pioneers despite Point Park’s initial leads in sets one and two.

“At the tri-match, our weaknesses were letting our frustration get the best of us which caused us to lose trust in our teammates,” English said. “However, we did a great job of incorporating our middles.”

With the non-RSC games in the past, the Pioneers got down to business on the road last weekend.

Defending the number one spot in the division is a goal of the Pioneers, according to English.

As of Oct. 7, Point Park is tied in RSC play with Rio Grande University, West Virginia Tech and Indiana University East, this Saturday’s opponent, at 3-2, but the Pioneers maintain the best overall record at 13-5.

“To give us more cushion at the top, I think we need to work on playing together and simplifying the game by taking it one point at a time,” English said.

Point Park lost the first East-West crossover match of the weekend against Brescia (Ky.) University by scores of 20-25, 25-21, 17-20 and 23-26.

Rozier proved the most successful hitter with 11 kills, and Ferragonio and sophomore Ashley Castelli tied on defense with 17 digs.

The Pioneers didn’t receive a hint of victory during the second divisional crossover of the weekend as IU Southeast swept Point Park. No Pioneer made it past seven kills and attack errors proved fatal to the Pioneers’ chance at winning.

“The team fell short in some very close games but was able to stay focused and positive, and worked hard while supporting one another throughout the matches over the weekend,” Ferragonio said. 

The Pioneers have a chance to turn the slump around this weekend with another set of RSC road matches against Ohio Christian University and IU East.

“We just need to start working together as more of a team, and we will get back to being us,” Small said.

At the time of publication, OCU is 1-4 (RSC) and IU East is tied with first through third place in the RSC East at 3-2 (RSC). Point Park remains in first place.

This team is ready for what’s coming, and people should be scared,” Small said. “This weekend lit a fire under us, and we are coming back with grit and vigor.”

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