The volleyball team hit the road last week to take on the Emporia State University Hornets and the Central Missouri Jennies.
The Gorillas defeated the ESU Hornets (3-1) on Thursday, Feb. 25. Pitt State took the first set (25-18). In the second set, there were 12 ties and five lead changes, but the Gorillas pulled away with the win (25-22). Emporia State came back into the game in the third set and won after ten ties and seven lead changes (21-25). The Gorillas bounced back from the loss and took the fourth and final set (25-19).
Central Missouri opened their 2021 season on Friday, Feb. 26 and kicked their spring season off with a victory over Pitt State (3-1). Pitt State took the first set (25-22) and the Central Missouri Jennies came back harder to take the next three sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-20).
Head Volleyball Coach Jen Gomez was optimistic about the team’s performance.
“Well, we won against Emporia, so I think we did pretty well that game,” Gomez said. “…At times, against Central Missouri, we played well but then we struggled a little bit kind of being consistent. So, we got some things to work on.”
Both weekend match ups revealed strengths and weaknesses to Gomez. While the team played in different aspects, the games showed that the Gorillas need to improve upon other skills before heading into their next game.
“I guess (against) Emporia, we played well defensively, and we served aggressively and then I think the biggest thing that we have to work on that I saw from the weekend was we have to be better at blocking,” Gomez said. “Our block has to get better specifically.”
A few players stood out to Gomez during the games.
“…(Brianna) Richard did a great job running our offense,” Gomez said. “I thought that Marissa Bates played pretty well defensively as our libero. I think Meg Auten really shouldered a heavy load for us. We set her almost a hundred times in those two matches, so I thought she did a pretty good job as far as trying to carry the load of our offense with our team.”
Only four games into the spring 2021 season, the volleyball team’s record sits at 1-3.
The Gorillas will play Missouri Southern on Thursday, Mar. 4 in Joplin. After that, the Gorillas will head to Edmond to take on Central Oklahoma on Wednesday, Mar. 10.
Since 2009, the Pitt State volleyball program has won 12 of 22 games against Missouri Southern and three of 16 against Central Oklahoma.
“Well, we play Missouri Southern at their place tomorrow (Thursday, Mar. 4),” Gomez said. “So, I think that we have to be ready to go in and play tough on the road and I think that’s always hard… So, I think that we have to show up our blocking and we have to be pretty aggressive from the first point and hopefully that will carry us through.”