Volleyball destroys competition on home court

The Carnegie Mellon women’s volleyball team played its final regular-season home games this past weekend as it hosted the six-team Carnegie Mellon Invitational in Wiegand Gymnasium in the University Center. The Tartans won all three matches over the two-day tournament to improve their record to 12–9 on the season.

On Friday, the Tartans opened against Medaille College and lost the first game 30–32, but rebounded, winning the next three 30–14, 30–17, and 30–19, and the match.

Senior right side hitter Catie Fisher and junior outside hitter Kate Stepp led the way in kills in the four-game victory with 12 and 10, respectively. Senior setter Brea Carlock added 31 assists to the match, and senior libero Kat Fox collected 22 digs to lead the defense.

The Tartans followed their victory over Medaille with a 3–0 victory over Penn State-Altoona by scores of 30–14, 31–29, and 30–16. Fisher had 12 kills to lead the Tartans against the Lions, and Carlock totaled 30 assists. Senior middle blocker Malena Yablinsky had four blocks and four block assists during the match.

On Saturday, the Tartans battled Elizabethtown College and needed all five games for their come-from-behind victory. The Tartans won the first game 30–21, and then dropped games two and three by the scores of 30–19 and 30–21. They were successfully able to regroup and win game four 30–22 and then take the deciding fifth game 15–8.

Senior outside hitter Amanda Bradford was instrumental in the Tartan comeback as she racked up 12 kills, 15 digs, and four blocks in the victory. Carlock tallied 28 assists, and first-year setter Samantha Carter dished out 21 assists of her own. Fisher led the Tartans with 14 kills, and senior middle hitter Becky Metler and junior middle hitter Abbie Toney each finished with 10 kills.

After struggling early in the season, the Tartans are coming together and playing solid volleyball. “I think now that a lot of the season is under our belt, we’re learning how to fight back and win the five-game matches,” said head coach Kim Kelly. “We won a five-game match against Rochester last week; we were down 2–0 against them and we fought back. Now we’re at that maturity level in the season when we’re thinking, ‘This isn’t over, we can win this.’ ”

“At the end of the match against Elizabethtown we had more juice than Sunny Delight,” Toney said. “We really brought it together after falling behind two games to one.”

“This was a good weekend for us; we’d been going hard for a long time now,” Kelly said. “This was a nice confidence booster type of weekend. It’s nice to have a weekend like this, and we’re above .500 now, which is a nice thing to have. We go into UAA play next weekend on a high note; we’re doing really well right now. The Tartans will travel to New York University next weekend for the second University Athletic Association (UAA) round robin next weekend. They will open against number 15 New York University at 10 a.m. on Saturday.