Volleyball: Vulcans down UPJ on Senior Day, 3-1


Matthew Kifer

Senior recognition day for the Volleyball Team, (from left) Peter LeTourneau, head volleyball coach, Sarah Moehring, Marley Goff, Kiandria Cowert, Sarah Benson, Barbara LeTourneau, assistant volleyball coach, Convocation Center, Nov. 6, 2021

Trey Staunch, Cal U Sports Information

CALIFORNIA (Nov. 6) – The California University of Pennsylvania volleyball team extended its winning streak to four matches on Senior Day with a 3-1 victory (20-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-20) over Pitt-Johnstown on Saturday afternoon in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West play at the Convocation Center.

With the win, the Vulcans improve to 13-10 this season behind an 8-6 mark in conference play. Cal U now holds a two-match lead for the final spot in the PSAC Tournament with two matches left in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Mountain Cats fall to 12-10 overall with a 5-8 record in league play.

Sophomore Jaiden Armitage (Happy Valley, Ore./Clackamas) paced the team with 13 kills, while juniors Chelsea Howard (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) and Kaylin Burkey (Boardman, Ohio/Boardman) both added 11 kills in the win with Howard hitting at an impressive .524 clip. Senior Sarah Moehring (Palm City, Fla./Martin County) registered 10 kills on Saturday. Senior Marley Goff (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) collected 27 assists for a consecutive match and classmate Sarah Benson (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) tallied 15 assists over four sets.

Junior Kelly Lynch (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) led the defense with 23 digs, while Moehring recorded a season-high 20 digs to finish a kill/dig double-double in the victory. Sophomore Alayja Floyd (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) controlled the net with a season-high seven blocks, while Armitage and Burkey recorded four and three blocks, respectively.

UPJ used three big runs during the opening set to earn a 25-20 victory. The Vulcans went on a 6-2 run to open the set before winning three of four points to take a 9-3 lead and forced a timeout. The Mountain Cats responded with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 11-9. The teams traded the next six points before UPJ won four of five points to take a 16-15 lead. After the Vulcans won back-to-back points, the Mountain Cats won five-consecutive points to hold a 21-17 advantage. The teams exchanged the next six points before the Mountain Cats took the set by a 25-20 margin.

Behind 16 kills and a .308 hitting percentage, the Vulcans were able to even the match with a 25-18 win in the second set. The Mountain Cats jumped out to an early 7-4 lead before the Vulcans won three of the next four points on a kill by Howard to trail 8-7. Cal U won five of the next seven points before UPJ won three-consecutive points to hold a 13-12 lead. Cal U responded by winning five-straight points on kills by Armitage and Howard to hold a 17-13 lead and force a timeout. The teams traded the next eight points before Moehring capped off a 4-1 run to end the set with a kill and give the Vulcans a 25-18 win.

The teams combined for nine ties in the third set before Cal U was able to capture a 25-22 victory. The two teams traded the opening eight points before the Vulcans won four-consecutive points to hold an 8-4 lead on a kill by Burkey. After trading the next four points, UPJ mounted a 4-0 run to even the score at 10-10 and force a timeout. Cal U responded with a 9-3 run, sparked by three-straight service aces from Goff, to hold a 17-13 lead. The Mountain Cats registered five-consecutive points to take a 18-17 lead and force a timeout. The Vulcans responded with a 6-2 run before the teams traded the remaining four points and collected a 25-22 win.

Cal U won five-consecutive points to open the fourth set and later increased the lead to 11-6 on a kill by senior Kiandria Cowart (East Liverpool, Ohio/East Liverpool). UPJ responded with a 4-1 run to cut the deficit to 12-10 and force a timeout. The Vulcans registered four-straight points before the Mountain Cats won three-consecutive points to cut the lead to 16-13. Cal U extended its lead after mounting a 5-0 run on kills by Howard and Armitage and held a 21-13 lead. UPJ countered with a 4-0 run before the teams traded the remaining eight points and sealed the match by a count of 25-20 on a block by Floyd and Moehring.

Cal U returns to action on Friday, Nov. 12, when it travels to Erie, Pennsylvania, to face Mercyhurst in conference action at 7 p.m.