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Victorious weekend for Vulcan Volleyball

Cal+U+junior+Rachel+Priore%2C+%2315%2C+and+sophomore+Jensen+Silbaugh%2C+%2320
Cal U junior Rachel Priore, #15, and sophomore Jensen Silbaugh, #20

Cal U junior Rachel Priore, #15, and sophomore Jensen Silbaugh, #20

Cal U junior Rachel Priore, #15, and sophomore Jensen Silbaugh, #20

Steve Ruffing

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Vulcan Volleyball opened up league play last weekend with two wins against Lock Haven and Bloomsburg.

The Vulcans were coming off of a loss against the top ranked team in the nation, Nebraska-Kearney, before they hosted Lock Haven last Friday. The last time that Cal faced Lock Haven, they came out on top by a score of 3-0. The same story held true on Friday when the Vulcans swept the Bald Eagles once again. 

Head Volleyball Coach Peter Letourneau had  faith in his team going into the match, specifically his veteran hitters. He said, “Louis (van Schaik) has been our biggest point scorer on the right side, Emily Bucklin has been a very effective middle attacker and Rachel (Priore) has been our best outside attacker.” The veteran hitters did not disappoint. van Schaik posted eleven kills, Priore posted nine and Bucklin had six during the match against Lock Haven. None of this is possible without Freshman setter, Sarah Benson. 

Benson controlled the Vulcans offense against the Bald Eagles when she tallied 35 assists. Benson also chipped in on defense registering 14 digs giving her another assist/dig double-double. Cal had to battle their way to victory in each set while looking towards the veteran hitters to close out the match.

The first set was back and forth with each team trading points. van Shaike sealed the deal on a set winning kill after a 3-1 rally giving the Vulcans a 27-25 victory. The second set was almost identical to the first, neck and neck throughout the action. Towards the end, California took advantage of back-to-back Lock Haven hitting errors which put them up 24-20. The Bald Eagles refused to give up and went on a three-point rally. Once again, van Schaik closed out the set with a set winning kill. California went on a four-point rally at the end of the third set to finish the set with a 25-22 victory.

The Vulcans picked up right where they left off the next day when they hosted the Bloomsburg Huskies. Veteran hitters once again played a huge role in the match, especially van Schaik who set her new career record of 19 kills. Priore and Bucklin chipped in as well in the victory. Priore posted nine kills and Bucklin recorded six. Along with the veteran hitters, Freshman hitter Sarah Moerhing had herself a day with 13 kills and 18 digs. Benson once again guided the California offense with her third straight assist/dig double-double when she recorded 42 assists and 15 digs. 

The California offense needed to come up big in the match because Bloomsburg outside hitter Sarah Gomish was in town. Gomish currently leads the league with 4.19 kills per set. Luckily, the Vulcans defense answered the call. Although Gomish recorded her 1,000th career kill, it wasn’t a match for the Vulcans defense. Priore put up 28 digs while Shelby Alloway got a career high 20 digs of her own. Moehring registered 18 digs and Benson recorded 15. 

The match did not start off well for the Vulcans. California dropped the first set to Bloomsburg 25-21 after two straight hitting errors. California came out in the second set ready to change the pace. The Vulcans held the Huskies under 15 points when they won the set 25-14 after claiming eight straight points. In the third set, California dominated with 14 kills and Moehring solidified the set with a service ace to win 26-24. California finalized the match after a service error from the Huskies to give Cal the 25-22 set and match victory. 

California now stands at 9-5 overall and 2-0 in league play. The two league wins puts California at second in the Southwest Division. The Vulcans will hit the road on Sept. 21 to take on UPJ and then Shippensburg on Sept. 22. Cal then heads back home on Sept. 28 to take on the Fighting Scots of Edinboro. 

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Victorious weekend for Vulcan Volleyball