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Lauren Dunn, junior defensive specialist, passes the ball during the match against Chadron State on Friday, Aug. 31. The Gorillas opened the weekend at home with a pair of wins in the Pitt State Classic tournament.

Volleyball setting up for a strong season

Pitt State volleyball opened the 2018 campaign with an outstanding seven and two record. Last year’s team went 7-24 for the season, so starting off a blazing hot 7-0 despite dropping the previous two matches has generated buzz around the team. 

Third year Head Coach Jen Gomez is pleased with these early strides taken by her team.   

“Right now we’re tied with last year, we only had seven wins all season,” Gomez said. “We’ve already tied that and we’re not even through the pre-season. So we expect to be able to continue to build off that in Oklahoma this weekend and then in conference play.” 

That momentum started in Memphis Tennessee with the Christian Brothers University Invitational. Pitt ran through the field winning all four games played. The Gorillas dropped Kentucky Wesleyan (25-18, 25-11, 26-24) and Arkansas- Monticello (25-19, 22-25, 25-13, 25-15) on day one before beating Maryville (25-17, 25-14, 25-11) and Christian Brothers (25-17, 19-25, 52-22, 21-25, 15-13) in five exciting sets to win the invitational.  

Gomez took pride in the way her team played, especially after seeing their growth. 

“Seeing their confidence grow and getting those wins early was a big deal for us,” she said. “To be able to come out against teams we didn’t really know because we hadn’t seen them before and play as confidently as we did was really important.” 

Beforehand, this past weekend Pitt hosted the Gorilla Classic at John Lance Arena. The tournament featured Cameron and Northwest Oklahoma from Oklahoma, Chadron State from Nebraska, and Christian Brothers from Tennessee.  

“In the past years we didn’t get to play at home until the end of September just because of the way the schedule would fall,” Gomez said. :I think this is the first pre-season tournament that Pitt State has hosted in the last seven to eight years and it’s a big deal for us. To get this team out with our fans and our crowd it gives people something they can really look forward to.” 

Pitt opened the tournament with a pair of wins Friday, only dropping a single set. Pitt swept Chadron State (25-22, 25-20, 25-22) before taking a 3-1 match over Cameron (26-24, 25-22, 25-27, 25-19).  

Day two saw Pitt’s first loss of the season. The Gorillas opened the day with a sweep of the Christian Brothers (25-16, 25-20, 25-13) in what was their most dominant performance of the year, before being swept away by Northwest Oklahoma (25-23, 25-18, 26-24).  

The Gorillas most recent action was in Kansas City against the Rockhurst Hawks. Pitt State dropped the match in straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-17).  

Volleyball will be head south for the GAC-MIAA crossover in Oklahoma this weekend before returning home to open the conference slate against rival Missouri Southern next Friday.   




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