Volleyball Rebounds After a Tough Start

Tyler Sloan, Editor in Chief

After an unsuccessful beginning to its season, the women’s volleyball team has started to turn things around.

The Yeowomen began the fall season with five consecutive losses against notable competition like Carnegie Mellon University and Penn State–Erie, The Behrend College (both 0–3 losses for Oberlin). Later matches against The College of Wooster and Baldwin Wallace University each produced close 2–3 scores, but Ober- lin fell just short.

Putting the rocky start behind them, the team had a successful weekend at the La Roche College Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7, in Pittsburgh, PA.

“Although we started off the season with a few losses, they were some very tough teams. This past weekend in Pittsburgh, we really saw our consistency come together, and because of that we ended the weekend with some nice wins,” said Head Coach Erica Rau.

The Yeowomen finished third in the tournament, and with a new batch of first-years, there is only room for improvement.

The roster for the Yeowomen this fall boasts six first-years, making up nearly half of the team. First-year Jillian Hostetler is already making an impact as an outside hitter. The Algonquin, IL, native made her contribution at the La Roche tournament by scoring 20 total points in games against Washington and Jefferson College, Carlow University and Waynesburg University.

Hostetler expressed high hopes for the season and believes that the team will get into a groove soon. “I think it’s been going well. We have a lot of team chemistry. We have a lot of potential.”

Coach Rau seconded this notion. “I’ve never seen a team come together this quickly, especially with so many first-years in starting positions.”

Rau claimed that the first-years have the capability to significantly aid the team this year. “Our first-year class is amazing. They are all seeing significant playing time, and four out of six start. Most of the time I forget they are first-years, which is a good thing,” she said. However, with such a young team, there come challenges too.

First-year Maggie Middleton shared that there has been difficulty in acclimat- ing to the high level of volleyball. “My goal for this season is to close my blocks. I’ve been having difficulty adjusting to the pace of the game,” said Middleton.

The young team is led by junior powerhouse captain Christine Antonsen. This season alone Antonsen has tallied 100.5 points as an outsider hitter. Originally from Potomac, MD, Antonsen will provide the Yeowomen with talent and experience, having played in 96 games as a sophomore. Sophomore Molly Powers, a Chicago native, acts as co-captain with Antonsen and will look to produce quality results after a successful 2012 season.

Coach Rau has faith that her team will succeed this year. “So far this season, our play has improved each time we have stepped on the court. We try to focus on doing the little things really well and know that when we do the little things well, the bigger things like wins will come,” she said.

The Yeowomen are coming off a two-game winning streak and will play at home on Friday, Sept. 13. The game will take place in Philips gym against Augustana College.