Volleyball inches closer to top spot in RSC East

Women’s win streak grows to six


Photo by Robert Berger

Senior middle hitter Destiney Tucker attempts a spike in a 2017 matchup against Washington and Jefferson. The team won 3 conference matchups last week and are now 5-1 in conference play. 

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

The Pioneer volleyball squad extended its winning streak to six after another victorious weekend of River States Conference (RSC) road trips. Point Park dominated its first match of the week, and topped RSC opponents in nearly even matches last Friday and Saturday.

Point Park checked off a sweep against Ohio Christian University (OCU) first and improved its season-best attack percentage once more to .391. The Pioneers hosted the Trailblazers last Tuesday and stole the match 25-12, 25-9 and 25-19.

The Pioneers were well on their way to victory in sets one and two before the Trailblazers even put a point on the scoreboard. Fresh faces appeared on the court in set three to close out the match and stand just 1.5 matches away from RSC East’s first-place Indiana University East.

“When the energy is low, our play tends to get low, so I think we did a really good job of staying on top of everything and communicating,” senior middle hitter Destiny Tucker said.

The Pioneers collected 17 aces, seven of which came from freshman defensive specialist Ashley Castelli. Point Park posted 32 kills to Ohio Christian’s 16. Senior outside hitter Jordan Dixon led the offense with 12 kills and rounded off her double-double with 10 digs. Junior setter Julia Menosky directed the net with 17 assists before junior setter Brittney Bianco stepped in set three to chip in nine assists.

“Overall, we’ve been working on, no matter what team we’re playing, just staying aggressive,” Tucker said. “That’s really been our biggest key.”

The women began their weekend of conference road contests on Friday against University of Rio Grande. The Pioneers left the RedStorm’s gym with their second sweep of the week, finishing 25-14, 25-19 and 25-18.

The stat sheet appeared even across both teams, but it was the Pioneers who finished on top. Menosky dished out 27 assists and completed a double-double with 11 digs. Dixon matched Menosky’s digs and recorded eight kills and four aces. Senior right-side hitter Ashley Taylor led the offense with 11 kills, and Castelli held down the back row with 14 digs.

The Pioneers visited the Golden Bears on Saturday and faced another close game. WVU Tech claimed set one 25-21, but Point Park fought back from there on out. The final scores of the last three sets were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-21, all in favor of the green and gold.

“The first set was a little sloppy,” Taylor said. “We just weren’t pursuing every ball to the fullest and it eventually caught up to us when they took the first set. Coach B pointed out that we were playing good, but we needed to play harder.”

Point Park boasted 54 kills, just three more than WVU Tech’s offense, and both teams recorded 20 hitting errors each. The lead never stretched past five points on either side, but the Pioneers claimed victory.

“We have been doing a really great job of playing as a whole and not giving up on a play,” Taylor said. “I feel that if we continue to work as hard as we have been, there is no reason why we shouldn’t win out the rest of the season.”

Dixon captained offense with 16 kills, senior outside hitter Erica Gumz followed with 13 and Taylor with 19. Senior libero Morgan Dangelo posted a team-high 16 digs, Castelli finished second with 14 and Taylor completed a double-double with 10 digs.

The Pioneers continue the regular season with a non-conference matchup at Pitt-Johnstown on Wednesday, and will embark on yet another RSC road trip this Friday and Saturday, visiting Ohio Christian for a rematch and IU East, respectively.

“We’re going into every game focused on beating our opponents across the net,” Menosky said. “We just have to play our game and beat IU East when we face them again.”