Volleyball celebrates winning weekend at home

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Volleyball celebrates winning weekend at home

Freshman outside hitter Taylor Small goes up for a kill against Carlow in the student center gym last Tuesday.

Freshman outside hitter Taylor Small goes up for a kill against Carlow in the student center gym last Tuesday.

Photo by Sara Cronin

Freshman outside hitter Taylor Small goes up for a kill against Carlow in the student center gym last Tuesday.

Photo by Sara Cronin

Photo by Sara Cronin

Freshman outside hitter Taylor Small goes up for a kill against Carlow in the student center gym last Tuesday.

Written By Dara Collins, Editor-in-Chief

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Looking ahead to the last week of River States Conference (RSC) play, the Pioneers have their eyes on the prize.

That prize is the division title and the right to host the RSC Championship on Nov. 15-16.

“For this weekend, we’re focused most on getting our revenge on IU East because we know if we beat them and OCU, we are guaranteed to host the conference tournament, which has been a goal of ours from the beginning,” senior outside hitter Haley English said.

Last week, senior setter Julia Menosky said an approach to playoffs had yet to be discussed.

“We have not been talking about our approach to playoffs yet because we’re focused on hosting the conference tournament,” Menosky said.

As of Nov. 4, hosting the RSC tournament doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea – but the Pioneers will have to work for it.

Point Park leads the RSC East ahead of WVU Tech by 1.5 matches and IU East by 2. The Pioneers will host a rematch against the Red Wolves this weekend. Point Park fell to IU East 0-3 back in October.

“IU East is going to be a tough match, but they are most definitely beatable, and we just need to expect anything,” freshman Taylor Small said.

After a weekend of wins, the Pioneers may be able to bring that positivity into the final matches of the regular season.

“We’re going to continue focusing on having positive energy because we play best as a team when we have high energy, and we’re going to need that going into this big weekend,” English said.

The Pioneers opened the week last Tuesday with a sweep against neighboring opponent Carlow University winning by scores of 25-13, 25-22 and 25-12. This marked the second sweep of the Celtics by Point Park of the 2019 season.

Point Park put down more than double the amount of kills Carlow managed to achieve. English and junior Camryn LaMonaca highlighted the Pioneer attack with 11 kills apiece and five other Pioneers recorded kills on the stat sheet.

Seniors Menosky and Maria Ferragonio split the match with 19 and 17 assists. Junior Abby Miller had three blocks at the net, and sophomore Ashley Castelli held down defense in the back row with 10 digs.

Midway University met the same fate as Carlow and fell 0-3 to Point Park last Friday. The Pioneers cruised through set victories of 25-20, 25-13 and 25-16.

Small tallied the most kills with 10, and Ferragonio recorded the most digs with 15. Small and Rozier each collected three blocks.

The Pioneers scored eight points off of service aces with setter Brittney Bianco leading the pack with three.

The final match of the weekend resulted in the third-straight win for the green and gold. The Pioneers sent Asbury University packing after a 25-21, 22-25, 25-22 and 25-20 victory.

Point Park out-gunned Asbury 53-45 with English highlighting the offense with 14 kills. Ferragonio followed close with 11, and they were the only two players of the match to reach double digits in kills.

Castelli snagged 22 digs to set the pace in the back row, English picked up 16 and Bianco finished with a double-double with 13 digs and 15 assists. Menosky had 17 assists on the match.

Castelli and English collect three aces each of the Pioneers’ seven total aces.

“We played together and had fun as a team which made winning as one easier,” Small said.

Point Park (20-8, 10-4 RSC) will host the crucial match against IU East this Friday and celebrate its seniors on Saturday in the Student Center Gym ahead of the final regular season contest against Ohio Christian University.

“We know both IU East and OCU are going to come out strong and want to beat us, but I think if we come out confident and focus on our side of the net, we should have no problem beating both teams,” English said.

“As our team is nearing the end of regular conference play, players are working well together and showing resilience and determination,” Ferragonio said. “We continue to focus on the upcoming matches which remain and look forward to competing in the RSC playoffs beginning Nov. 15.”

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