Volleyball defeated on home court 3–2

The Tartan women’s volleyball team took on St. Vincent College last Thursday evening at Skibo Gymnasium, losing to the Bearcats 3–2. The loss brought the Tartans’ season record to 3–7 while improving St. Vincent’s record to 8–3.

Getting off to a rocky start, Carnegie Mellon lost their first set to the Bearcats 30–20. The Tartans managed to turn the game around in the second set to come back and win 30–20.

The third set was close, with the lead transferring back and forth between Carnegie Mellon and St. Vincent, bringing Tartan fans to their feet cheering for most of the set. During the game, senior libero Kat Fox fueled the win by serving three consecutive aces, and key block assists by senior middle hitter Becky Metler and by junior outside hitter Abbie Toney allowed the Tartans to overcome the Bearcats 32–30, giving the Tartans a 2–1 lead heading into the fourth game.

The fourth set was as closely matched as the third, with both teams fighting back and forth for every point. “I thought the team did extremely well.... It was a very exciting, close game,” said Athletic Director Susan Bassett. In the end, it was St. Vincent that pulled out the win (30–27), sending the match to a fifth set, a first for the Tartans this season.

During the fifth set, the Bearcats got off to a running start by scoring four unanswered points. The Tartans battled back, and Toney hit a kill that tied the score at 8–8. Later, the Tartans managed to take the lead momentarily, leading 10–9, but were unable to maintain the momentum and lost the game to the Bearcats 15–12, losing the match 2–3.

Despite the disappointing loss, assistant coach Laura Graf remained optimistic. “They played very well,” said Graf. “The teams were very evenly matched. We still have a lot of work to do, but it was okay.”

Senior right side Catie Fisher led the offense with 20 kills. Senior outside hitter Amanda Bradford, senior middle hitter Malena Yablinsky, and Toney each managed to finish the game with kills in the double digits. Senior setter Brea Carlock and first-year setter Samantha Carter contributed 39 and 18 assists, respectively. Fox led the game defensively with 25 digs. Yablinsky and Metler each had four blocks.

Coming off four straight losses, the Tartans have work to do the next couple weeks. “[We] just started the season and still have a lot of stuff to work on,” said head coach Kimberly Kelly.

“We’ve had a lot of problems with little things, a kill here, or a pass there ... so that is what we really have to work on,” Fisher said. “[The team] will be really working on communication and still working at getting used to trusting each other on plays.”

On Wednesday the team travels to the University of Pittsburgh–Greensburg. On Friday and Saturday the team hosts the Carnegie Mellon Crossover in Skibo Gymnasium. Carnegie Mellon will open against Gettysburg College Friday night at 6 p.m., followed by Nazareth College at 8 p.m. On Saturday the Tartans will face Rochester Institute of Technology at noon and Stevens Institute of Technology at 4 p.m.