Megan Brownell photojournalist
After a sweep at their home tournament, Pitt State volleyball opened MIAA conference play on Sept. 9 against University of Central Oklahoma and September 10 against Newman University. They dropped all three sets against UCO, and won 3-2 against NU.
“Overall, honestly I don’t think we played at the level that we can be at, it is early in the season and I am ready to see the team get more playing time together and really develop into our full potential,” said graduate student in business and outside hitter Meg Auten.
Despite the loss against the Bronchos, each set was close with set one 20-25, set two 25-27, and set three 21-25.
Graduate student libero Marrisa Bates finished with 17 digs, graduate student setter Brianna Richards had two kills, six digs, and 32 assists, and freshman libero Josie McCroskey had 14 digs.
“Both games played out differently than we anticipated,” Auten said. “For UCO we stepped on the court with the expectation that we were going to win, but were unable to execute on our end.”
Auten also mentioned about the team’s “low energy” in the UCO game Friday.
“After the game we discussed how we seemed to lack energy and rhythm, when the other team and crowd lacks energy we need to create our own and we failed to do that,” Auten said.
After the loss, they traveled to Wichita to take on Newman. The Jets put up a fight, but Pitt outlasted them to win 3-2. Each set was close, with PSU winning set one a four 25-21 and 25-13, but NU also took sets two and three 21-25 and 27-25. Set five was another close one, with going extra in points again with Pitt taking the win 16-14.
“When playing in a super close set like we did all weekend, the main goal is to remain calm,” Auten said. “I think we did a really good job in that and the sets we did lose we did not let it impact us and our desire to win.”
Auten played a game with 23 kills, 24 digs and one assist, sophomore right side hitter Seville Gates had 12 kills and five digs, Bates finished with 32 digs, and Richards with one kill 15 digs and an 52 assists.
PSU Volleyball also traveled to Liberty, Missouri on Sept. 13 to take on William Jewell College. They won 3-1, the last three sets laying out as 25-18, 25-17, and set four, 27-25.
Auten finished with 14 kills, 11 digs, two blocks and one assist, Gates had 12 kills, three digs, and two blocks, Bates had 25 digs and four assists, Richards with 12 digs and 51 assists, and McCroskey had 12 digs.
After a 7-4 start to the season, they continue MIAA play with their first conference home games on Friday Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. against Central Missouri, and Saturday Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. against Missouri Western. They will also travel to Maryville to take on Northwest Missouri on Wednesday Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.