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Volleyball opens season against Washburn, Northwest Missouri

The Pittsburg State volleyball team’s 2020 season was postponed due to the pandemic and they have not played since the MIAA postseason tournament of Nov. 2019 in Kansas City, Mo.  

The team is back on track now and opened the 2021 season this past weekend at home.  

The Gorillas were defeated by Washburn University (1-3) Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. in Whetzel Court of John Lance Arena. The team took on another less with Northwest Missouri (0-3) the same day at 6:30 p.m.  

The Washburn University Ichabods won the first set (25-19) while the Gorillas took the second set (25-22). Washburn came back and took the third and fourth sets (25-16, 25-19) to come out on top.  

The Northwest Missouri Bearcats swept three sets against the Gorillas (25-22, 25-20, 25-17).  

The games were not all bad, according to Head Coach Jen Gomez, who thought the team competed well sporadically.  

“Well, for the first competition, I thought that we, at times, played really well,” Gomez said. “I thought that I saw some really good things from our returners and a couple of our young kids got to see some significant time, so I thought that was good. We also know what we have to work on. So, all in all, it was okay.”  

According to the Pittsburg State athletic department’s website, the softball team has played a total of 23 games against Washburn University since 2009 and the Gorillas have not won one. Out of the 16 games the team has played against Northwest Missouri since 2009, the Gorillas have won four.  

A few players stood out to Gomez during the two home games.  

“…Meg Auten, she really stood out, and I thought she played well,” Gomez said. “I thought Brianna Richards played hard as our setter and did some really good things. I thought that Marissa Bates, our libero, came in and was pretty solid for our passing. Hope White, our junior middle, she just really was very consistent so that was really fun to see.”  

The Gorillas will hit the road Thursday, Feb. 25 and take on the Emporia State University Hornets in White Auditorium. Following that match up, they will travel to the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg on Friday, Feb. 26 and go head-to-head with the Jennies in their Multipurpose Building.  

Out of 23 games with Emporia State, PSU has won nine. Out of 21 games with Central Missouri, the Gorillas have only beaten the Jennies once.  

To prepare for the games, Gomez has some areas for the team to improve on. 

“I would like to see us get a little more consistent as far as our ball control and I think I’d like to see better offensive execution,” Gomez said.  

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