Volleyball team continues path to improvement

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Over the weekend, the SVSU women’s volleyball team set their sights on the Midwest Region Crossover in Aurora, Illinois.

After splitting last weekend’s matches, the Cardinals went 1-2 in the Crossover Tournemant, falling to Quincy and Truman and beating Maryville.

“This weekend, we showed a lot of improvement in our skill and mindset; however, we uncovered just how easily all of that can change if we let it,” team captain and sophomore middle-hitter Rachel Eisenhour said.

On Friday, the team started off the tournament against Quincy in the afternoon. They fell in a nail-biting four-set match.

In the first set, both teams struggled offensively, and it came down to who could make the fewest mistakes. Quincy managed to take the first set with a 25-16 win.

The second set was just as close when SVSU tied it up 19-19, but ultimately, the Lady Cards lost the set 25-20.

In the third set, the Cardinals kept their momentum going from their close defeat in the previous set and earned a 28-26 victory.

In the final set, Quincy bounced back and took the match 3-1 with a 25-21 set win.
Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Tabit had 15 kills to pace the Cardinal offense.

On Saturday, they played two games, the first of which was against Maryville, whom SVSU beat in a solid 3-1 win. In set one, the Cardinals fell to Maryville 26-24 in a highly contested battle.

As a team, SVSU had 11 kills to Maryville’s 15.

In the second set, SVSU responded with a 25-20 win. In the third and fourth sets, SVSU continued its momentum, ultimately taking the match 24-26, 25-20, 25-23, 25-15.

Tabit had 17 kills, and senior outside hitter McKenzie Schuster added 14.

The final match of the weekend was against Truman State. SVSU struggled throughout the match and was swept in straight sets.

In the first set, the women went point-for-point until Truman eventually gained the lead and won the set 27-25.

In the second set, Truman pulled ahead from the start of the set, but the Cardinals were able to stay competitive. Ultimately, Truman took the second set 25-20.

In the last set, the women started out strong, but they lost the set 26-24.

Tabit had 13 kills for SVSU, while Eisenhour and Schuster each had six.

After the tournament, head coach Will Stanton reflected on the team’s improvements as well as its weaknesses.

“The volleyball team is continuing to work hard in practice and improve every day,” he said. “Our offense has been lacking lately, so we have been spending more time on that aspect of the game. Our younger players have some great potential, but we are having trouble getting it to be consistent on game day.”

Although the women came home with two losses and a win at the Midwest Region Crossover, they are still determined to continue to improve and finish their season strong.

This weekend will see the volleyball team going on an interstate road trip, battling it out against Wayne State on Friday, Oct. 20, and then rivals Grand Valley on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The Lady Cardinals return home Oct. 27 against Michigan Tech.