No more sets for volleyball

No more sets for volleyball

Asha Njeri

Freshman middle hitter Kendall Mahony attempts a kill in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Quarterfinals Nov. 11 against West Chester University.

Bobby Scott, Editor-In-Chief

Pitt-Johnstown women’s volleyball season as defending champions has come to a halt, as the team lost to West Chester University. They lost in four sets Nov. 11 in the first round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs.

The Lady Cats earned a first round home game by finishing in second place in the conference’s East Division, finishing one game behind Lock Haven University.

Pitt-Johnstown jumped out to an 8-4 lead in set one when the team scored five straight points during serves by freshman Cambria Wierman.

West Chester got the lead again after tying it at 13. The lead, on a kill by West Chester’s Marina Sharkey, was never relinquished, and West Chester won the first set 25-22.

The Lady Cats won the second set 25-18 in comeback fashion after giving up 12 of the first 19 points and scoring six straight points on several errors by West Chester players.

In set three, Pitt-Johnstown got out to a 15-9 lead, but West Chester was able to slowly erode at the lead until was tied at 24.

“We let up a couple leads, which is not always easy to come back from, but it was simple mistakes here and there that compounded,” senior setter Nikki Oakes said.

“It was not a fact of whether we could not over come them or not, we know we are a better team. Unfortunately, Tuesday was, sadly, not our best game.”

West Chester scored two straights points to take the third set and force the game to match point in their favor.

The Lady Cats had another 15-9 lead in set four, but West Chester was once again resilient and went on an 8-2 run to tie it up at 17.

West Chester was able to close out the match by winning the fourth set 25-20 in front of the noisy Lady Cat fans.

“I believe that any team can win on any given day, and this game showed that,” Wierman said.

“We missed some opportunities to get scoring runs when we needed them, and that hurt us in the end.”

Three of the four high-seeded teams were defeated in the first round including both No. 1 seeds, Lock Haven and Clarion University.

Seton Hill University, the second seed from the West Division, was the only high seed to move on and competed the semifinals and championship game this past weekend.

It may be sad for the players to see the season come to an end, but, by the end of last week, there was still something for the team to be proud of.

Head Coach Joanna Haupt was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division Coach of the Year after leading The Lady Cats to two playoff appearances in her first two years as head coach, along with her husband and assistant coach Justin Haupt.

“(Coach Joanna Haupt) truly deserves (to be coach of the year),” Oakes said.

“She cares about us on and off court like a second mother and is there for us no matter what a situation may be, doing everything she can to not only make us better players but better people,” said Oakes.

Freshman middle hitter Kendall Mahony was named East Division freshman of the Year after recording 476 points, 357 kills and 100 blocks this season.

That wasn’t all for the Lady Cats as freshman defensive specialist Devan Orr was named East Division defensive player of the year with 744 digs this season.

All but two players on this season’s roster are to return next season with the inclusion of last year’s East Division freshman of the year, Marissa Erminio, who tore a knee ligament in the 11th game of the season.