Curtis Meyer reporter
The Gorillas held on despite a rough start to their week, finishing out with a win on Tuesday night against William Jewell College in a come from behind five set wins. It was a happy conclusion to what had been a disappointing week for the Gorillas, coming off two straight losses to Central Missouri and Missouri Southern.
“It feels really good, I think we have four matches left. It’ll give us the momentum that we need to get these conference wins I think,” said junior outside hitter Jayden Sanford.
The Gorillas began with two away games, starting with a game against the Central Missouri Jennies. It was not a particularly close game, as the Gorillas fell flat out of the gate, losing the first set 10-25. The Gorillas came out to play on the second, but the Jennies would six points in a row with the game at 18-19 to close it out. Pitt State was close on the final set as well, but once again fell flat in the final minutes as the Jennies took it 3-0.
Junior outside hitter Ivy Fink led the Gorillas with seven kills and seven digs, while freshmen outside hitter Avery DeLong had six kills and senior outside hitter Janea Thurston had four kills and 15 digs in the loss.
Pitt State then traveled to Joplin, facing the Missouri Southern Lions. It was another missed opportunity, as the Gorillas fell 3-1. Dropping the first set 13-25, they turned it around in the second one, winning 25-22. It was not enough, as they lost set three 17-25 and set four 18-25.
DeLong finished with 11 kills, while Fink had nine kills and 20 digs in the loss. Junior middle hitter Pheonix Bailey followed with eight kills and four blocks, as the Gorillas were unable to build on their momentum from an impressive win against Nebraska Kearney last weekend.
Pitt State rebounded on Tuesday with a 3-2 win over William Jewell College, in a game that came down to the wire. It started off with a loss in the first set 22-25, as the Cardinals scored four in a row late to win it. Pitt State was able to answer, winning the second set 25-19.
The Gorillas then took a 2-1 lead in the third set, overtaking and holding off the Cardinals in a 25-22 win. Despite this, the Cardinals forced a fifth set, winning handily in the fourth set to the tune of 25-16. The Cardinals looked poised to win in the deciding fifth set, going up 11-6, but the Gorillas came back, tying the game up at 14 apiece before ultimately winning 17 to 15 in what was a close finish.
“Maybe we finally just executed at the end, well after we switched sides, we started executing plays. We had a little luck going our way too, they kept sending us free balls instead of us sending them, so then you’re able to execute your offense and it works like it’s supposed to,” said head coach Jen Gomez.
Pitt State will prepare to finish out this week with away games against Emporia State and Washburn, as they only have four games left in the regular season.