Sports

Volleyball obtains best start in program's history: 16–0

The volleyball team contests a play at the net as Messiah tries to tip the ball over the Tartans’ wall of blockers. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics) The volleyball team contests a play at the net as Messiah tries to tip the ball over the Tartans’ wall of blockers. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics)

The volleyball team hosted and competed in the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Tartans went undefeated in the four games they played against Messiah College, Salisbury University, Otterbein University, and the University of Mount Union. Carnegie Mellon improved to 16–0 and are off to their best start in program history, topping the previous best start of 12 straight victories in the 2004 season.

On Friday, the Tartans opened up 3–1 against Messiah, topping the visiting team 25–18, 25–15, 23–25 and 25–11. Senior middle blocker Eliza Donohue and junior right side hitter Sarah Jurgens each tallied double digit kills with 12 and 11, respectively, to lead the Cardinal and Gray.
Sophomore setter Maia So-Holloway and junior setter Amanda Thiele combined for 53 of the Tartans’ 59 assists with So-Holloway leading the way with 32.

Defensively, sophomore outside hitter and defensive specialist Kayla Yew led the team with 22 digs and junior outside hitter Lauren Mueller added 12. At the net, Donohue tabbed eight total blocks while senior outside hitter Heather Holton recorded four.

Against Salisbury, the Tartans won 3–0 by the scores of 25–21, 25–18 and 25–8. Donohue, Jurgens, and Holton all had seven kills in the win. Thiele had 16 assists with So-Holloway adding 15. Yew led with 15 digs and junior outside hitter and defensive specialist Sydney Bauer tabbed 10.
On Saturday, the Tartans first defeated Otterbein 3–2, winning by scores of 25–17, 16–25, 19–25, 25–22, 15–12. Mueller recorded her sixth double-double of the season when she led the Tartans with 21 digs against Otterbein to go along with her 17 kills. Jurgens also tallied double-digit kills with 15. So-Holloway handed out 36 assists and had nine digs. Yew tabbed 18 digs while Donohue continued to be strong at the net with eight total blocks.

The Tartans finished the Invitational with a 3–0 win over Mount Union by the scores of 25–23, 25–16, 25–16.

Against Mount Union, Donohue recorded 10 kills while hitting .500 and added another six blocks. Jurgens finished the match with nine kills. Thiele led the team in assists with 23 and So-Holloway added 14.

Defensively, Yew led with 16 digs and Bauer and first-year outside hitter Diana Balta each had 11 digs against Mount Union.

The Tartans’ perfect record will be put to the test when they next travel to Case Western Reserve University for the University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin No. 1 where they will play against the hosting Spartans, New York University and Washington University over the weekend of Sept. 30 through Oct. 1.