Yeowomen Battle in Conference Playoffs


Senior Laura Jessee jumps for a spike during a recent match. Jessee earned All-Conference honors this season, finishing with 1,054 career kills.

Ian Adomeit, Staff Writer

The women’s volleyball team finished its season with a 10–18 overall record this past weekend in the North Coast Athletic Conference playoffs in Springfield, Ohio.


In the first round of playoffs on Friday, Nov. 2, the eighth-seeded Yeowomen played the top-seeded defending National Champions, the Wittenberg University Tigers. While they played hard, the Yeowomen fell in three straight sets, 10–25, 17–25 and 12–25.

Even though the Tigers are one of the most competitive teams in the conference, “we definitely played with them,” said senior co-captain Laura Jessee.

“We played Wittenberg better than we played them the first time,” added first-year Molly Powers.

Jessee led the team offensively with five kills, followed by sophomore Emma Kimmel and first-year Maddy Dunn, who had four each. Kimmel also added 12 digs to put together an all-around contribution.

The Yeowomen returned to the court Saturday morning to face the fourth-seeded Denison Big Red in the consolation semifinal, looking to rebound from their loss to Wittenberg. The Yeowomen were unable put together a win, as they fell in straight sets again, 11–25, 15–25 and 10–25.

The team wasn’t happy with its performance against Denison, and senior co-captain Chinwe Okona let out an audible groan before discussing the match.

“It was hard to go from playing really well against Wittenberg and [then] not playing to the best of our ability against Denison and losing,” said Okona. “It didn’t feel competitive.”

Once again, Jessee led the Yeowomen attack with six kills, while Powers anchored the defense with 11 digs.

Following a short break after their loss to Denison, the Yeowomen took the court for the last time this season for the final consolation match against the Allegheny College Gators, whom Jessee and Okona always dreamed of beating, despite their long-standing losing streak against them.

The Yeowomen ended that, defeating the Gators in straight sets 27–25, 25–16 and 25–11.

Jessee and Powers continued to anchor the Yeowomen on the offensive and defensive sides, respectively. For the third time in three matches, Jessee led the Yeowomen in kills with 12 for the match, while Powers led the team in digs for the second time with 14. Dunn also added to the defensive side with a team-leading five blocks.

“We were more focused. We had the incentive that it was our last game, and we needed to finish with a win,” said Powers.

This season has been a large improvement for the Yeowomen, who increased their win total by 9 from the previous season’s lone win.

“I think we were really positive this season,” remarked Jessee, who was named to the NCAC All-Conference Second Team this past Monday. “Our court demeanor was much more positive than in years past.”

As for the future, Jessee was frank in her desires for the Yeowomen: “I want other teams to fear us next season.”