WRITTEN BY GREG ALCALA
In their fifth game of the season, the St. Francis Women’s volleyball team was dominated in tonight’s affair by the Iona Gaels, three sets to none.
The Terriers drift to (1-4) overall on the season opposed to the Gaels who improved to (1-3). Before the match, I was able to get a brief word with newly appointed Head Coach; Abra Rummel regarding what she felt was the keys to success for this particular contest.
“Passing…,” said Coach Rummel.”If we pass the ball effectively, we give teams a difficult time”.
The Terriers looking to achieve their first home win on the season were outclassed by the Gaels who captured their first win of the season. Both teams had something to play for but the end results proved that the Gaels wanted it a little bit more than the hometown favorites.
Despite the loss, the Terriers showed spirit and a level of resilience throughout the duration of the match. The Gaels, however never looked back after capturing leads at pivotal junctures in all three sets.
In the opening set the Terriers secured and early 8-6 lead, a promising start only for the Gaels to answer with three consecutive points and they would never trail in the first half again.
The second set featured a back-and-forth battle. Both teams were tied at 10 all, the Gaels would eventually seize control of the set, embarking on an 11-3 run. This run eventually resulted in the Gaels taking a convincing two-set lead to the Terriers zero, securing the set 25-21.
The Terriers did make a comeback in the second set, but the overall deficit proved to be even more of a daunting task to overcome; causing the Terriers to drop the second set, 25-19.
The 3rd and final set was a display of runs as the Gaels struck first gaining a 12-4 advantage. The Terriers came within striking distance moments later, trailing by three 18-15. The Gaels scored three-straight points, leading 21-15, and went 4-1 in points to close the match.
Junior outside hitter Leah Zitting led the Terriers in kills with 12, while outside hitter Domenique Gerard added seven winners. Junior setter Kelly O’Halloran contributed 23 assists and senior libero Ali Long provided 13 digs.
As the pain of a loss infiltrates the space of the Terriers Volleyball team, there is no time to rest or sulk as the next match is right around the corner.
The Terriers will host their own invitational this weekend beginning this Friday, September 5, as they will participate in a double-header trading spikes with Hofstra University at 12pm and the New Jersey Institute of Technology at 7pm. The Terriers will conclude their invitational on Saturday, September 6, as they welcome the Manhattan Jaspers at 4pm.
The biggest takeaway from this match was the messages that Terriers Head Coach Rummel shared with the team in one of their numerous huddles during a timeout early in the second set.
“Stay together,” Rummel expressed.
With two months left in the Terriers volleyball campaign there will be plenty of ups-and-downs but if the Terriers stay together, they can right their wrongs early in this season and convert them into positives.