Megan Brownell photojournalist
Pitt State volleyball closed out the regular season with back to back conference matchups. They first went to the University of Nebraska to take on the Lopers on Nov. 3. They then traveled to Fort Hays State University to take on the Tigers on Nov. 4. They lost to UNK 0-3, and won against FHSU 3–0.
“Our game against UNK was a rough game, they are a respectful team, they did just what they needed to do but even after that loss we still brought it back at Fort Hays,” said sophomore middle hitter Phoenix Bailey.
The Gorillas fought hard in the first set, just falling short 22-25. The Lopers fought harder the next two sets, giving PSU a set two loss of 18-25, and set three 17-25.
“I feel that against Kearny I played pretty good, it was one of my higher stat games,” Bailey said.
Other players were also able to have good stats in this game. Graduate student outside hitter Meg Auten finished with 11 kills, 11 digs, one block, and one assist, graduate student setter Brianna Richard had three kills, 11 digs, and 29 assists, graduate student libero Marissa Bates with 13 digs, and Bailey with nine kills and two blocks.
After the loss, they went on to beat the Tigers, who had upset them before this season 2-3.
“It was just a necessary game, we were all on the same page that even after a tough loss, we still had to bounce back and play our game,” Bailey said. “It just went well and felt good to finish our conference games with a win.”
In set one against Fort Hays, they came in strong winning it 25-19. They had a slow start in set two, but still went on to win it 25-20. Set three was the same, ending in a win and sweep of 25-19.
Some more good stats were also put up in this game. Freshman defensive specialist Josie McCroskey finished with 15 digs and one assist, Richard had three kills, 10 digs, one block, and 29 assists, Bates had 19 digs and three assists, and Auten with 15 kills and 16 digs.
“Overall, I feel like our energy against UNK was really good,” Bailey said. “Even if we were losing it didn’t feel like we were because our energy was up there and we still gave it our all. It was also just as amazing and awesome against Fort Hays that kept our momentum going.”
This was the conclusion of the regular season, with the Gorillas finishing with an overall record of 16-13, and conference record of 10-10. This qualified them for the MIAA Conference tournament last week, and after this win they claimed the 6th overall seed.
They will play their first match of the tournament on Thursday Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. at Civic Arena in St. Joseph, MO. Their first opponent will be the University of Central Missouri.
“We feel pretty confident (about the tournament) after so many months together, we know each other, we trust each other, and that team chemistry is really strong,” Bailey said.
If they win against UCM, they will go on to play the winner of UNK and Missouri Western State University on Friday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m.