Volleyball crowned Blue Jay Classic champions

The Carnegie Mellon volleyball team has not only climbed its way out of the early season slump, but has also proved that the Tartans are a team to be reckoned with. After a humbling 3–0 loss to Point Park University, the Tartans stepped up their game. According to head coach Kim Kelly, the turnaround in the season occurred because “[the girls] are finally learning to play like a team. They are starting to gel and pick each other up.” In the past nine games, Carnegie Mellon has gone 8–1, improving the overall record to 11–10.

The Tartans initiated this week’s success with a home match versus St. Vincent College. The team lost to St. Vincent 3–2 earlier this season in the Gettysburg College Blast but was ready for redemption. The Tartans carried over their momentum from last weekend’s successful home tournament and toppled the Bearcats 3–0. They stepped onto the court focused and ready to play, scoring 13 of their 25 points in the first game from kills. Carnegie Mellon won the first two games 25–20 and the third game 25–21. Senior Chisom Amaechi led the team with ten kills, while junior setter Sam Carter added 31 assists and eight digs.

After a successful week at home, Carnegie Mellon headed to Elizabethtown, Pa. Friday to face four teams in the Blue Jay Classic. The tournament opened with matches against Widener University and Lycoming, in which the Tartans won both games 3–0. On Saturday, the Tartans defeated St. Mary’s College in a hard-fought five-game match, 3–2. In the match, Amaechi recorded 13 kills and seven blocks, and sophomores Aislinn McCloskey and Caroline Size added 10 and nine kills, respectively. In the final match Saturday, the Tartans faced host team Elizabethtown for the title of tournament champions. Carnegie Mellon swept the Bluejays in three games with scores of 30–28, 25–20, and 25–19. McCloskey led the team with 11 kills and junior blocker Jess Brackin had seven kills and nine blocks. On the weekend, Carter totaled 79 assists and was named MVP of the tournament.

Even with a tournament win under their belt, the Tartans still have some things to work on before they begin conference play next weekend. “We need to work on our consistency,” Kelly said. “Once we get on top of a team we need to make sure we stay on top and keep them down.”

The Tartans will host the University Athletic Association Round Robin #1 next weekend, with the first match Saturday at 3:00 p.m.