Volleyball bests IUP 3-1

Erin Almeter, Staff writer

Mercyhurst Lakers Women’s volleyball played against Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s (IUP) Crimson Hawks on the Nov. 8 at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. There, the Mercyhurst women were able to defeat IUP with a set match of 3-1.

“We came into the match knowing that we had to be on top of our game and work together to defend IUP’s offense,” Elizabeth Brady said. “Once we did that, we were able to establish our offense and keep the momentum on our side of the court. Although IUP came back in the third game, we figured it out and got the momentum and energy back on our side to win the match in four games.”

The first and second sets went to the Lakers, while the third was won by IUP. However, Mercyhurst bounced back and was able to win with the fourth and final set.

The first match began with a few errors made by the Lakers, but they continued fighting. Addy Benjamin and Alyssa Zirnheld were able to put some kills on the scoreboard for the Lakers. A lead of 22-19 was gained later on in the set from aces scored by Mary Marusza. The first set finished with a kill from Leah Kern ending the set with a score of 25-22.

The second set started with a neck and neck battle between the Lakers and the Crimson Hawks. Six straight points were scored with the help of Madison Kasper and Zirnheld was able to stop a Crimson Hawk run with a kill to make the set 20-16. The set finished with kills by Katie Baird and Zirnheld as well as an IUP error.

The final score for the second set was 25-23. The Crimson Hawks had put up a fight in the third set and took it with a final score of 25-18. The Lakers were determined to win and the fourth set finished the match with the Lakers victorious. The team was able to make a 7-0 run during this set with the help of kills from Baird.

The 25-20 final set score occurred after Kasper and Baird each put up a kill. Baird was an offensive leader with 15 kills contributed as well as 10 digs and a service ace. Zirnheld held her own with 11 kills and nine digs. Hannah Vuylsteke was able to pick up 21 digs and was a leader defensively whereas Benjamin had six blocks.

The Laker’s (15-12, 7-9) next match will be at Clarion University on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. This will be the second to last match of the Lakers’ regular season.

“The team has really been enjoying and making the most of the end of this season,” Brady said. “After a long stretch of challenging matches and team injuries, I think we have proved our resilience. We look forward to bringing this energy into our last two games.”