Volleyball Drops Games to DePauw, Manchester
The volleyball team dropped two games on Saturday, falling to the nationally ranked DePauw University Tigers and Manchester University Spartans, pushing its record to 4–10.
In the morning contest, the 19th-ranked Tigers proved too tough for the Yeowomen, as they completed a three-game sweep by the scores of 25–16, 25–14 and 25–17.
Sophomore setter Meredith Leung kept the Yeowomen in the game offensively, distributing 10 assists in a game where at least seven different Yeowomen had at least two kills. First-year Megan Cox anchored the Yeowomen on defense with 10 digs.
The afternoon match against the Spartans was more competitive, but a pivotal 26–24 third set loss proved to be the dealbreaker as the Spartans came out on top with scores of 25–18, 22–25, 26–24 and 25–19.
Sophomore outside hitter Ave Spencer led the Yeowomen with 12 kills, and junior defensive specialist Molly Powers contributed 21 digs in a strong effort.
Assistant Coach Brian Ambrose acknowledged the talent level of the Tigers in the first game loss and knew coming into the game that that the Yeowomen would have to be firing on all cylinders if they wanted to have a chance at an upset.
“DePauw is a very good team and is ranked nationally, so when you’re playing a team like that you have to be very efficient in your offense and with your whole system,” he said. “We played well against them, but I think we just didn’t side out at a high enough percentage.”
Leung also acknowledged that heading into the pair of games Saturday, the team was still struggling to put together a complete performance.
“We’re a very young team with a lot of potential, and right now we’re having trouble executing,” she said. “They were two very clean teams that don’t make a lot of errors, and being efficient is one of the things we have struggled with.”
The pair of losses moves the Yeowomen to six games below .500 on the season and 0–1 in conference play. The Yeowomen are coming off a 2013 campaign in which they went 12–19 with a 4–4 conference record.
Head Coach Erica Rau has a strong sense of what the team needs to do in order to take the overall level of play to the next level.
“We need to work a lot on our consistency and highs and lows,” she said. “The talent is all there, it’s just getting them to finish and be confident while knowing they’re a good team. We’re young, so sometimes we still doubt ourselves instead of moving forward and fighting. We’ve picked up our intensity level at practice across the board from the coaches and players, and I think that’s going to help us moving forward.”
After graduating just one senior from the 2013 team, the Yeowomen came into this season looking to improve on last year’s success. Junior captain Molly Powers said she believes the team still has time to build and turn its performance around.
“The first half of our season wasn’t totally representative of our play,” she said. “We usually take one or two sets from each team, and we’re right there against everyone we play. It shows that we are working hard and we’re at that turning point. We have to keep each other motivated because our season can only go up from this point, especially with conference ahead of us when conference was our strong point of last season.”
Moving forward, the Yeowomen have a stretch of road games starting with a matchup against the Capital University Crusaders on Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. The Yeowomen’s next home game is onWednesday, Oct. 8 against the Denison University Big Red.