Tartan volleyball wins three of four at CMU Invitational
The Tartans hosted the St. Vincent College Wildcats in their first volleyball home match last Tuesday. The score was close throughout the first game, but the Tartans pulled away with a 28–26 win. Carnegie Mellon cruised through the second and third games with scores of 25–14 and 25–18, respectively. After its victory over the Wildcats, the volleyball team improved its overall record to 4–6.
Sophomore right side hitter Ali Celentano had 14 kills, while sophomore libero Ali Nichols picked up 28 digs. Junior setter Emily Wright led the team in assists with a total of 33.
“It was our first home game, we were all really excited for it,” Wright said. “The first game was a little rough; we were a little nervous. But in the next game we just got down to business and cut down on our errors, which made the game go by a lot faster.”
The Tartans also hosted the Carnegie Mellon Invitational last Friday and Saturday, pushing the team’s overall record to 7–7.
Carnegie Mellon played its first match of the Invitational against the University of Scranton, where the Tartans picked up a 3–0 (25–21, 25–18, 27–25) overall win. Junior outside hitter Senna Parsa had nine kills, seven digs, and two blocks. The second match was played against Johns Hopkins University, where Carnegie Mellon lost 3–0 (25–22, 25–18, 25–22).
“I think we’ve increased our ball control a lot, so I think that’s a really big strength,” said head coach Kim Kelly. “We also have some really nice outside and right side hitters. I think we have a good all-around floor right now, which is nice.”
On the second day of the Invitational, the Tartans played their first match against the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
Carnegie Mellon gained a 3–0 (25–12, 25–22, 25–7) victory. According to Kelly, Celentano had the game of her career against Pitt-Greensburg, where she hit .875 with 14 kills.
Celentano believes much of her success comes from the support she receives from her teammates.
“Team chemistry is really important,” Celentano said. “Especially with volleyball — it’s a huge mental game, so you need your teammates to help pick you up. We’re all really close.”
The Tartans ended the Invitational with another 3–0 (25–12, 25–22, 25–17) overall win against Elmira College.
This weekend the volleyball team will travel to Huntingdon, Pa., to play in the Juniata Invitational.
“I look forward to seeing them grow as a team and become more cohesive,” Kelly said. “From weekend one to now, I can see the gelling of everything; it’s actually coming together.”