Ladies find stride after a close upset

Bobby Scott, Sports Editor

Pitt-Johnstown women’s volleyball team have been a bit humbled after getting their first real taste of east division conference play a couple weeks back.

On a night the Lady Cats rejoiced in the conference championship banner-raising ceremony Sept. 26, the team was upended by a seemingly inferior Kutztown University team that defeated the ladies in a 3-2 nail-biter.

After the game, it was clear a motivated Kutztown came ready to play against the defending champions and did so successfully.

The Lady Cats also lost sophomore outside hitter Marissa Erminio to an apparent knee injury during the match.

The team since then made quick work  of East Stroudsburg University, defeating them 3-0 during homecoming weekend.

The women then defeated Lock Haven University in a convincing manner 3-1 on Sept. 30.

Senior setter Nikki Oakes said being the team everyone wants to beat makes them even better.

“It is challenging us and proving to everyone that we will give out best effort 100 percent of the time,” she said.

The team traveled to eastern Pennsylvania last weekend to play West Chester University and Cheyney University in preparation for the next series of conference crossover games Oct. 10-11.

Junior right side hitter Larissa Swank said the tough challengers do not faze the team.

“(Competition is) good because it just makes us a better team,” she said.  “Higher level opponents forces us to play better.”