Volleyball leading conference division

Bobby Scott, Sports Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown women’s volleyball team is off to a hot start this season and most notably in conference play.

The team has found its place as newcomers to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference sitting at the top of the East Division with a 6-2 conference record (12-4 overall).

The Lady Cats have won six straight games after starting conference play with a 0-2 record on their first day.

The team has embarked on a lengthy nine game homestand that was capped off Oct. 8, with a 3-0 against Lock Haven University.

Freshman Marissa Erminio led the team with 13 kills and 20 digs against Lock Haven.  Freshman Allison Mondorff led the team in assists with 45.

The Lady Cats then battled West Chester University Oct. 10, and swept the Lady Rams 3-0.  West Chester was not able to gain a lead until set three (17-16), after they were already losing the 2-0.

The team never looked back from that point and soundly defeated West Chester in three sets.  Erminio lead the team again with 12 kills, eight digs and two service aces.

Senior Beth Kendra, who provided the team with nine kills and seven blocks, said that the momentum the team had after Oct. 8’s victory carried over and helped the team win Thursday.

“We had great team chemistry Tuesday (Oct.8) and Thursday (Oct. 10),” Kendra said.

“The team worked together to accomplish our goal of winning, and, in Thursday’s game, we were still on a high from winning Tuesday.”

University officials held a campus wide tailgate party Oct. 11 in the Student Union Cambria Room leading up to the team’s match against Cheyney (Pa.)University, winning 3-0.

Senior Ashley DiRado said that having a long home stand like the one they are on now helps fan support and relieves the team of travel woes.

“It makes it easier for our families and friends to come and support us,” DiRado said.  “It is nice to know we have most of our traveling out of the way.”

DiRado said being on top of the East Division is something the team is aware of and is what keeps them motivated.

“We know that if we let up at this point that we could be bumped down by any team,” she said.  “We want to stay focused, and work toward our end goal.  Paying attention to the standings helps us.”

Kendra said that being in first place just means that the team will work harder and the same goes for individual stats as well.

The Lady Cats next matches are Oct. 18 and 19 as the team hosts a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover tournament, meaning they play doubleheaders on back-to-back days against Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, Slippery Rock University and Edinboro University.