PSU Volleyball Takes #6 UCM to Five Sets

PSU Volleyball Takes #6 UCM to Five Sets


PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Pitt State Volleyball team got off to a strong start in Saturday’s (September 26) match against No. 6 Central Missouri. The Gorillas took the first two sets, 25-18 and 25-21, before falling in the final three 25-17, 25-12 and 15-7. It was the Gorilla’s first five set match of the season.

Despite the loss the Gorillas saw a lot of positives, especially in the first two sets. No one hit in double figures, though three players, Lana DaSilva, Maggie Highberger and Lexi Fulghum each recorded nine kills. Lauren Regier and Shelbey Baker each added seven kills.

Pitt State also held their own defensively. The Gorillas outblocked the Jennies, 9.0 to 7.0. DaSilva and Unke each had a solo block and three block assists. Regier added a solo block and two block assists, while Highberger recorded three block assists. Ashlen Schwartz led three players with double figure digs with 19, including 10 in the second set alone. Taylor Wright added 15 digs. Hayley Hansford combined her 16 digs with 18 assists for a double-double.

The first set was probably the best set the Gorillas have played this season. They hit .312 as a team, while putting down 14 kills and commiting only four hitting errors. The Jennies were held to .139 hitting and committed seven errors.

There were seven ties and five lead changes in the set, though most of them were early. Pitt State took the lead for good at 9-8 on a kill by Highberger. A little run behind Ashlen Schwartz’s serve gave the Gorillas their first four-point lead at 15-11, which the also matched at 20-16 and 21-17. Regier put the Gorillas up by five, 22-17, with a big kill. The Jennies managed another point, but then the Gorillas scored the final three on another Regier kill and two Central Missouri errors.

Neither team was terribly effective offensively in the second set. The Jennies hit .000 with 11 kills and 11 errors, while the Gorillas hit at .068 with nine kills and six errors. The big help for Pitt State was its blocking, as it put down 6.0 team blocks, as opposed to 3.0 for Central Missouri.

The team’s traded the lead through the first half of the set. A four-point run, that included kills by Regier, Baker and Fulghum, put the Gorillas up 18-15 and they never lost it again. Back-to-back big blocks by Regier and Unke gave the Gorillas the set two win 25-21.

The Jennies came back hot after the break between sets two and three. Carly Sojka had seven kills and six errors in the first two sets, but became problematic in the remaining three, adding 15 kills with only two errors. She led Central Missouri as the hit .360 combined in the final three sets to earn the win in the match.

The Gorillas will return to action next weekend at Northwest Missouri on Friday (October 2) evening at 7 p.m. and Missouri Western on Saturday at 2 p.m.