Gorillas: first hot, then cold
Tyler Smith | Sports Writer
The Pitt State Volleyball team was busy last week, playing five different teams with mixed results.
The Gorillas won the first three matches over East Central (Okla.), Saint Leo University and Christian Brother. PSU only lost two sets in the three matches combined.
Against East Central, Becca Pearson had 26 assists while Hayley Hansford added 17 of her own. Sam Wyatt led the team with 18 digs while Chrystal Whitten had 12. Four players, Brooke Fay, Whitten, Paula Okrutna and Chloe Foster led the team with three blocks each against East Central.
Against St. Leo, the Gorillas were dominant offensively, with Okrutna and Fay combining for 30 kills.
The final two matches last week brought the Gorillas back to earth. PSU dropped matches to Harding and Central Oklahoma.
Kirsten Erickson, outside hitter, says the team will be back stronger than ever when they get a chance at redemption on Friday.
“I think that this weekend we are going to come back a much more prepared team and tomorrow everyone’s going to show up to practice ready to improve,” Erickson said. “We are ready to come back for Friday and Saturday’s games more mentally prepared and we are going to win.”
Head coach Ibraheem Suberu says the team may have struggled, but they were excited for the attendance at the game.
“Credit to our community for showing up, the turnout was definitely exceptional,” Suberu said. “So with our fans behind us, as they did turnout today, we can take that as we move forward and continue to make sure we have more fighting spirit and we are more technically skilled to execute our skills.”
Suberu says that the team simply has to live up to their potential.
“We should be able to improve. We are the same team that obviously won seven matches,” Suberu said. “We are going to do a better job of getting them ready for the next matches.”
The week was highlighted by Fay, who earned the MIAA Hitter of the Week award. Fay led the Gorillas in kills in three of her sets against East Central, earning 10 kills total.
The next matchup for the Gorillas will be difficult. PSU is set to face the best team in the nation, Nebraska-Kearney, at home on Friday Sept. 14. This may easily be the toughest game of the season, but the Gorillas are also excited for Pack the Weede night, Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Last season saw a great turnout and the team hopes for even more crowd support this year when they face perennial rival Missouri Southern.