Volleyball comes back with three wins at home

After a disappointing mid-week loss to the Point Park University Pioneers, the Carnegie Mellon volleyball team turned its season around at its home tournament last weekend with wins against John Carroll University and Otterbein and Mount Union colleges.

Against the Pioneers Wednesday, the Tartans stayed in the match mentally until the third game but it was too late, and the Tartans lost the match 3–0, with game scores of 25–17, 25–11, and 25–23. Carnegie Mellon crawled back on the bus disheartened and frustrated but returned to Skibo Gymnasium for practice Thursday as motivated as ever and ready to defeat their next opponents at home.

The motivation paid off and the Tartans picked up two wins on the first day of the annual Carnegie Mellon Crossover Tournament. Carnegie Mellon began the evening with a 3–0 win over Otterbein with game scores of 25–15, 25–16, and 25–18. The entire team contributed to the win, with sophomore Caroline Size leading the team offensively with nine kills. Sophomore Aislinn McCloskey tallied eight and junior Sam Carter added 36 assists.

The second match for the Tartans was the highlight of the night as they fought Mount Union (11–3) in a battle of four games that lasted two hours. The first game finally ended with a Tartan victory, 39–37. Size recorded nine kills, with two crucial back-to-back plays to take the lead at the end of the game. McCloskey finished the game with a powerful kill down the line.

The second game also went into extra points, but again the Tartans came away on top, winning 26–24. Carnegie Mellon led 17–9 early in the game after seven phenomenal serves by junior Megan Killeen, including three aces. But the Mount Union side was not easily defeated; they rallied, taking the lead 22–21. The game was tied at 24–24 and McCloskey, ready for it to be over, ended it with two straight kills. The Tartans showed some fatigue in the third game, losing 25–19, but came back revitalized in the fourth.

McCloskey led the fourth game with four kills on her first four attempts and Mount Union was forced into calling a time out with the games score 19–16. Carnegie Mellon kept the pressure on and won the game 25–22.

On Saturday, the Tartans split a pair of games, defeating John Carroll University but falling short to Muskingum College. The Tartans beat John Carroll 3–2 with McCloskey and senior Chisom Amaechi recording 14 and 13 kills, respectively. Defensively, sophomore libero Cameron Griffin recorded 28 digs and Carter added 11 digs and 49 assists. In the 3–2 loss to Muskingum, McCloskey finished with an outstanding 20 kills and Carter had a season-high 60 assists.

After this week’s matches, Carnegie Mellon is now 6–10 and hopes to keep improving its season record tomorrow when they face St. Vincent College in Skibo Gymnasium at 7 p.m.