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Gorillas fly past the Jets but fall to Jennies

The Pittsburg State Gorilla volleyball team came out victorious in a matchup against the Jets of Newman University but fell short against the number two ranked team in the nation, the Jennies of Central Missouri. 

First up for the Gorillas was a road trip to Wichita to face the Jets in an inner conference matchup. Pittsburg State and Newman played each other back on Sept. 28, where the Gorillas were victorious in three sets and the result was the same this time around as well. The Gorillas were dominant in this matchup, having the advantage in kills, aces, assists, and digs. 

The Gorillas were in full control of the first set, never trailing and coming out victorious 25-22. The second set was a game of runs, both teams going back and forth from time to time, but PSU came out victorious 25-21. The third set was a very tight matchup, going back and forth the whole time, but the Gorillas closed the match with a 28-26 victory. 

“I thought we stayed pretty true to our offensive plan and utilized our middles and right side,” said head coach Jen Gomez. “We never really got frazzled and were able to pull through and win in three!”

The Gorillas feel that if they play to their fullest potential, they have a shot at making a run in the conference tournament, and blocking seems to be one of the things to focus on that still needs some polishing. 

“I think our blocking still needs work and we will continue to focus on that this week,” Gomez said. 

Any win in the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) is a big one and winning on the road is even more impressive no matter who the opponent is. After the win, the Gorillas improved to 13-10. 

Next up was the Jennies of Central Missouri (UCM). UCM is the number two ranked team in the country, but the Gorillas weren’t going to back down. 

 “We try not to focus so much on them and focus more on what we can control and what we can do as far as our game,” Gomez said.

The first set didn’t go in favor of the Gorillas, eventually falling 25-15, but the second set was a battle between the two teams. Back and forth throughout the set, the game went all the way to a score of 30-28, but the Jennies still came out victorious. The third set was a set of runs, eventually leading to a 25-15 win for UCM.

“Our defense could be sured up a bit,” said redshirt junior Emily Hanenberg. “But I also thought we played well.”

The Gorillas feel their team has a bond and team chemistry that can’t be broken and is a huge advantage to them, giving them the chance to shock some people on the court.

“This year our team is even more like a family,” Hanenberg said. “I love the dynamic we have created.”

Team chemistry can go a long way for any team, and add on the talent the Gorillas have, the end of the year has the potential to be exciting for the Gorillas.

Next up for the volleyball team is the number three ranked Ichabods of Washburn University on Fri. November 5, followed by a game against Emporia State on Sat. November 6. Both games will be played on PSU’s home court and tickets can be purchased at the ticket office. 

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