Disappointing start to Gorilla volleyball
Dakota Smith | reporter
Pittsburg State volleyball got the season off to a rough start during the Pitt State Classic last Friday, Sept. 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7, after losing all four matches during the tournament.
In the first match against Southeastern Oklahoma State, PSU was defeated after four sets. The first two sets finished with the same score of 25-23. A short-lived victory in the third set (25-22) was then followed by yet another defeat of 25-21.
The Gorillas’ 51 kills of the game were tainted by 39 errors, giving them a hitting percentage of just .071
“We have to really clean up the unforced errors,” said Ibraheem Suberu, head coach.
Crystal Whitten, sophomore in nursing, and Paula Okrutna, junior in psychology, were the only players to earn double figures in kills and digs during the first match. Whitten led with 17 kills and 17 digs. Okrutna followed with 10 and 10.
The second match of the day against Ouachita Baptist finished in three straight losing sets with scores: 25-19, 25-23 and 25-19.
The Gorillas were also outhit by the Lady Tigers with a hitting percentage of .089 to .233.
Suberu says Jordan Rehm, senior in exercise science, was the standout player of the Classic.
“She brought the energy that is required and the consistency of ball control that we greatly need,” Suberu said.
On Saturday, Pitt State took on Rockhurst University in its first match.
The Gorillas fell to the Hawks in straight sets with scores: 25-21, 25-14 and 25-11.
Whitten again led the team with 13 kills, Rehm with 15 digs and Haley Hansford, sophomore in biology and premed, earned 27 of the team’s 29 assists.
The outhit percentages were .233 for Rockhurst and .065 for Pitt State.
Rockhurst would continue on to win the Classic 4-0.
Looking to finish the Classic with a win over MIAA rival Missouri Western, Pitt State fell with three straight losses with sets of 25-18, 25-21 and 25-18.
“I think overall we were not as balanced as we thought going into the season,” Suberu said. “We got a lot of experience for the younger players and made all of the adjustments that we came across.”
The Gorillas will look to get back on track this weekend as they travel to Warrensburg, Mo., for the Peggy Martin Classic.
Pitt State will take on Minnesota State-Moorhead and Colorado-Colorado Springs on Friday, Sept. 13. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the Gorillas will take on the Bulldogs of Ferris State (Mich.) and the Warriors of Winona State (Minn.).