Tartan volleyball wins in opener

The Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team welcomed Washington & Jefferson College in its home opener, beating the Presidents in straight sets. With its victory, the 24th-ranked Tartans moved to a 2–2 overall record on the season.

The Presidents started the first set hot, winning a long opening rally. They outscored the Tartans 5–1, but the home team fought back throughout the set, trading shots with the visitors. The Tartans tied the score at 17–17. A service ace by junior Maia So-Holloway gave the Tartans their first lead of the match. After some back-and-forth points, the Tartans took the set 27–25.

Like in the first set, the Presidents kicked off the scoring, 3–0. This time, however, the Tartans quickly took control, going on a 6–0 run to make the score 6–3. The Presidents fought back to cut their deficit to one point, 8–7, but were unable to match the Tartans’ dominant attack. The Tartans led by as much as 14 points during the set and won 25–12.

The third set began with a long rally that covered all corners of the court, the point ultimately going to the Tartans with a kill by senior Sarah Jurgens. After a Tartan service error, they fired off seven straight points to lead 8–1. After leading 16–9 later in the set, the Tartans are held from scoring by the Presidents, who scored seven straight points of their own to tie 16–16. The Presidents took their first lead of the set 20–19, but the Tartans surged at the end to win the set 25–21 and put the match away three sets to zero.

Overall, the teams’ final stat lines were similar. The Tartans finished with a .138 hitting average, 68 digs, six blocks, and eight aces, while the Presidents put up a .063 hitting average, 65 digs, six blocks, and three aces. Nine Tartans recorded kills, Jurgens leading the way with 11. Of the team’s 36 assists, So-Holloway recorded 33 of them, while senior Lauren Mueller registered a match-high four service aces. Junior libero Kayla Yew also led both teams with a season-high 23 digs, followed by 13 from senior Sydney Bauer and 10 from Mueller for the Tartans.

After three losses at the Juniata Asics Invitational over the weekend to third-ranked Wittenberg University, Christopher Newport University, and Juniata College, the Tartans look to bounce back at Saint Vincent College on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.