PSU volleyball hit the road this weekend with games at Fort Hays State and Nebraska-Kearney. PSU split the two games with a win over Fort Hays and a loss to Kearney.
On Friday, the Gorillas defeated the Fort Hays State Tigers in four sets (25-18, 23-25, 26-24, 25-17). Head coach Jen Gomez was pleased with parts of the game against the Tigers.
“I thought that we played pretty well at times against Hays, I especially thought our passing was a lot better,” Gomez said. “It’s always nice to come away with a win out there and to win it in four was nice.”
The Gorillas dominated sets one and four, but let set two slip away late and nearly had the same thing happen in the third but were able to hold off the tigers to secure the point.
Freshman Meg Auten led the Gorilla attack with 13 kills on 25 attempts alongside sophomore Emily Regier, who also contributed 11 kills of her own as well as six blocks. Libero Lauren Dunn anchored the back line with a career high 28 digs in the game, and freshman Brianna Richard set a new career best with 45 assists.
“I think Meg did some really good things. I think she’s getting better and more confident and comfortable on the court and we like to see that,” Gomez said. “I also think Emily Regier had a pretty good defensive day as far as her blocks, so I thought she stood out and did some good things as well as Lauren Dunn who I thought really stood out and played some great defense.”
Saturday saw the Gorillas drive another two and a half hours north to face the No. 6 team in the country, the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers. The Lopers made short work of PSU in three quick sets (25-9, 25-12, 25-21).
The long trip seemed to have a substantial effect on the team, with it taking a couple of bad sets for the Gorillas to settle in and keep things close in the final frame.
“I think it’s hard to play on the road anytime, but that is a long road trip, and to play in that environment is tough,” Gomez said. “The volleyball environment there is awesome, so I think sometimes especially some of our young players get a little bit of a shellshock, but that doesn’t deter from the fact that you’ve still gotta show up and play volleyball.”
Senior Lauren Regier led the team with nine kills and a pair of blocks, while Emily Regier got another six blocks of her own.
The Gorillas now sit in a tie for fifth place in the MIAA standings with a 3-2 in league games as well as being 14-4 on the season. The loss to Kearney also leaves Pitt at 0-3 against ranked opponents for the year.
The team will turn its attention to a tough home stand this weekend. The Gorillas will host 2-3 Emporia State at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept 28 before a huge test against undefeated and 13th ranked Washburn on Saturday, Sept 29 at 2 p.m.