Megan Brownell photojournalist
This past weekend, Gorilla Volleyball hosted two home conference games. They played University of Nebraska Kearney on Friday Oct. 7, then Fort Hays State University on Saturday Oct. 8. They lost both games, 0-3 to UNK, and a hard fought match to FHSU 2-3.
“This weekend provides us the opportunity to reflect on what we do well and what we need to work on,” said graduate student libero Marissa Bates.
Friday’s game against Nebraska Kerney, who is ranked 5th in the country according to the AVCA division two coaches poll. PSU dropped set one 18-25, set two 23-25, and set three 20-25 to lose the match.
Quite a few players were able to get some great stats despite the loss. Sophomore outside hitter Jayden Sanford finished with 12 kills, seven digs, and one assist, junior right-side Janae Thurston had 11 kills and two blocks, graduate student setter Brianna Richard with two kills, eight digs, and 37 assists, and then freshman defensive specialist Josie McCroskey had 11 digs.
“Personally, I feel that I played well against Nebraska Kearney, but I just did not get very many opportunities on defense,” Bates said.
Then, on Saturday they hosted Fort Hays, and lost after a hard fought battle. The Tigers took set one, 25-19. The gorillas fought back and took set two 26-24, then set three 25-17 to take a 2-1 lead. Fort Hays took back set four 25-16 to take it to set five. Fort Hays then won set five in a close 15-13, giving Pitt their second loss for the weekend.
“Some highlights from the game against Fort Hays would have to be Brianna Richard with lots of setter dump kills.” Bates said. “She doesn’t sump very often, but they were very effective this weekend.”
Thurston finished with 15 kills, seven digs, two blocks, and three assists, outside hitter and graduate student Meg Auten had 18 kills, 16 digs, four blocks, and five assists, Bates with 23 digs and two assists, and lastly Richard with four kills, 10 digs, two blocks, and 49 assists.
“Our bench brought some good energy this weekend for sure, but the people on the court struggled at times to keep that positive energy going.” Bates said. “It is hard to be positive when you lose, but this is an aspect we can definitely improve on.”
After dropping these two games, they continue conference play away at Missouri Western State University on Friday Oct. 14 at 6pm, then Saturday Oct. 15 at 7 p.m against the University of Central Missouri. They then will return home on Tuesday Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. for another game against Newman University.
“As a team, we have to focus on getting a lead and keeping it, we struggled this weekend once we started losing and that is something we have to fix going into our next set of games.” Bates said.
Bates also commented on how she feels the games will go this coming weekend.
“I believe this weekend we will be able to respond well, and be able to compete against both teams… we gave UCM a run for their money last matchup and we are going into this weekend ready for a win,” Bates said.