Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Volleyball Sweeps Competition at Oberlin Invitational

Photo by Erin Koo, Photo Editor
Oberlin celebrates their 3–0 win over Caltech at the Invitational.

Last weekend, Oberlin Volleyball hosted five schools in their annual Oberlin Invitational Tournament. The Yeowomen dominated all three of their matches without dropping a single set throughout the weekend. On Friday, the team picked up two sweeps against Defiance College 25–16, 25–8, 25–11, and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford 25–15, 25–23, 25–12. On Saturday, they battled to a 3–0 win over the California Institute of Technology 25–20, 25–21, 25–22. 

There were many notable performances during the tournament among Oberlin’s athletes. With 95 assists over the course of the weekend, fourth-year setter Taylor Gwynne was named the tournament MVP and the North Coast Athletic Conference player of the week. Third-year outside hitter Andréa Jones was also named to the all-tournament team, totalling 22 kills throughout the weekend. As a team, the Yeowomen hit .311 average over the course of the tournament.

Gwynne said that the support from her teammates was a major factor toward the team’s success over the weekend.  

“One of the things that I’m most proud of is how the team worked together this weekend,” Gwynne said. “I think we were all super supportive of each other. We picked each other up, we celebrated each other’s wins really well, and we all were working to make sure that each one of us could shine.” 

Second-year outside hitter Zeynep Kaya, who totaled seven aces over the weekend, agreed with Gwynne that the energy on the court allowed everyone to play well. 

“Everyone was so positive. I think that is the most important factor,” Kaya said. “When I looked around, I only saw smiling faces, and I just couldn’t help but smile all the time and feel the energy.” 

Head Coach Erica Rau wrote  in an email to the Review that team spirit combined with technical play were the main aspects that helped guide them to success. 

“We served really tough, our hitters stayed aggressive, and our team chemistry and energy were phenomenal,” Rau wrote. “The team found their ideal performance state, and they were grooving!”

According to Kaya, the team has been particularly intentional about their energy this year. “Solar Energy” is one of their team values, which represents an “unlimited, renewable” spirit. 

“Solar energy is one of our core values, and I think that’s the real factor that makes us successful this year. We put an extra effort to be a team in and outside of the court,” Kaya said. “[Solar energy] stands for always trying to be positive and support everyone on the team with our energy.” 

In addition, Kaya pointed out that the team’s training on strategic aspects of the game also contributed to their wins. 

“As a team, I think we put an extra effort on our serve receiving this year, and it was reflected on the court a lot,” Kaya said. “Since we were good at serve receiving, we were able to narrate the game.” 

Moving forward, the Yeowomen are looking to further improve both technical and mental aspects of their game. 

“We want to keep improving each day at practice and during each match,” Rau wrote. “We need to keep up our consistency and keep pushing forward.” 

Kaya said that the most important thing for the team is to refine their skills and keep their momentum going. 

“We really want to focus on our serve receiving and serving at practices,” Kaya said. “We want to continue to play like this, and most importantly, we just want to keep the energy like this all the time.” 

Gwynne mentioned that the team is aiming to improve communication and strategy moving forward. 

“This year we’re still working on our communication and our chemistry. There’s some practical things that we’re working on in terms of our defense and our offensive strategy,” she said. “Every day we go into practice, we have new things to work on and we’re constantly getting better.” 

Gwynne was also careful to note that despite the success, the team is not complacent.

“I’m excited to continue to get better as a team throughout the season,” she said. “We definitely haven’t peaked yet.” 

The Yeowomen are set to face off against the Kenyon Owls on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Philips Gymnasium. All home matches can be streamed on the Oberlin Sports Network. 

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