After dropping a five-game set the previous night in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action, the Gannon women’s volleyball team managed to bounce back with a 3-1 win over host Slippery Rock at the Morrow Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon. Opening the afternoon with a 25-19 win in the opening set, the host Rock took the second set, 25-23. The rest of match belonged to the Lady Knights, as they captured the third and fourth sets, 25-23 and 25-19, respectively. The Lady Knights improved to 9-5 overall and 5-1 in the PSAC, while The Rock fell to 8-11 and 3-3 in conference play.
“We are really, really happy to pick up a win on the road in the PSAC,” said head coach Matt Darling. “Road wins are going to be really important for every team trying to make it into the playoffs. We got some pretty solid performances from Hannah Kren, Lynne Hibbard and Kayla Knickerbocker. Demma Strausbaugh did a great job in her first college start.”
Recording double-doubles for Gannon were freshman Hannah Kren(Waukesha, Wisc. / Wisconsin Lutheran) with 14 kills and 19 digs, as well as fellow freshman Jordyn Thiery (Cincinnati, Ohio / McAuley) with 12 kills and 17 digs. Thiery added six block assists to her totals. JuniorMegan Wendel (Aurora, Ohio / Kenston) recorded a season-high 47 assists along with six kills and seven digs.
Gannon opened the day with a 25-19 win over The Rock in the first set. In control of the first set with a 22-19 lead, the Lady Knights were in a similar place as they were against Edinboro in the previous night. Holding a lead over their opponent, the Lady Knights were able to close out the win this time by taking three straight points from The Rock to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Slippery Rock bounced back in the second set, capturing a close 25-23 win to tie the match at 1-1. After erasing a three-point Slippery Rock lead, the Lady Knights tied the contest at 10-10. From that point, the two teams fought back and forth with the score being tied seven times until the final time at 21-21. The Rock took over the set, scoring four of the final six points for the win.
With the match tied at 1-1, Gannon recaptured the lead in the third set by defeating Slippery Rock, 25-23. With Slippery Rock holding a 21-18 lead late in the set, the Lady Knights capitalized off three consecutive Rock attack errors to tie the contest at 21-21. After each team exchanged kills, Kren registered two kills to give the Lady Knights a 24-22 lead off Wendel assists. After a Slippery Rock kill, freshman Demma Strausbaugh(Defiance, Ohio / Defiance) combined with Wendel to record a kill to give the Lady Knights a 25-23 win.
With Gannon taking a 13-8 lead in the fourth set, Slippery Rock scored four straight unanswered points to pull within one, 13-12. The Lady Knights answered back with their own four-point run to lead once again, 17-12. Pulling ahead 22-18, the Lady Knights outscored The Rock, 3-1, to take the fourth set and to capture the overall win.
The Lady Knights improve to 25-10 over The Rock in the all-time series.
Gannon will return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 8 against PSAC rival Mercyhurst with the first set to begin at 7 p.m.
“We have a really big week coming up with big matches all week, starting with Mercyhurst on Tuesday night,” said Darling. “That rivalry is always really intense and we have some work to do to get ready for it.”