Curtis Meyer reporter
The Gorilla volleyball team looked poised to finish the season strong last week, winning a tough 3-2 decision over William Jewell college this past Tuesday. Despite the gutsy win, Pitt State was unable to keep their momentum, dropping two games this week to Emporia State and Washburn.
“I thought we were really prepared leading up to Emporia and Washburn, obviously coming off the William Jewell win on Tuesday. I thought we played good competition and played well, we just couldn’t put certain pieces together when we needed to,” said senior outside hitter Janae Thurston.
The Gorillas began the week on the road Friday night, facing Emporia State. It was hard fought, losing in four sets 26-24, 25-20, 24-26, and 25-16. Freshmen outside hitter Avery DeLong led the Gorillas with 15 kills, junior setter Jadyn Jackson had 43 assists, and sophomore libero Josie McCroskey had 17 digs in the loss.
“It’s kind of like a momentum killer, like when we beat Kearney on that Saturday and came back and lost both games that next weekend. It’s always like you think there are pieces that are falling into place and then they just don’t,” said Thurston.
Pitt State did not have much time to rebound, traveling to Washburn the following night in another tight game on the road. Washburn took the win 25-17, 19-25, 25-23, and 25-17. Thurston led Pitt State with 11 kills and 15 digs, while Jackson added 30 assists and 10 digs in the game.
“I think at times again we saw some really good things, and then at times again we struggled. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t overcome the amount of errors that we continued to make. I think that’s just kind of the recurring theme, is that we can’t error ourselves out of matches, especially against teams like Washburn,” said head coach Jen Gomez.
For senior players like Thurston, this weekend will be their last chance to play collegiately, giving this week’s set of games extra meaning.
“I would definitely say emotional, this will be my fifth year since I used my COVID year this year. When you think about it, I’ve been doing it for a while, but it doesn’t really feel that long. It’s kind of sad,” said Thurston.
The season continues, disappointing losses or not, and the Gorillas must prepare to host Northwest Missouri and Missouri Western on Friday and Saturday for their final two games of the season. The Gorillas will look to end on a high note, putting last week behind them.
“There’s nothing we can do about the past, and this morning I went into practice, and I said you know what, this last week of practices we don’t have to be miserable. We don’t have to come in here and dread what we’re doing and sit here and pout, it’s not going to do us any good. The only thing we can do is come in, work hard this week, have fun together, enjoy this being our last week with all of us. Plan on going out Friday and competing like crazy against Northwest.” Said Gomez.