Club volleyball ranked first in division after tournament at Drexel

The+club+volleyball+team+wore+ribbons+in+support+of+Ukraine+during+Saturdays+tournament%2C+where+they+placed+second+out+of+six+teams.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Nina+Curko+22%29

The club volleyball team wore ribbons in support of Ukraine during Saturday’s tournament, where they placed second out of six teams. (Photo courtesy of Nina Curko ’22)

Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

The club volleyball team traveled to Philadelphia this past Saturday to compete at Drexel University against Drexel, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), St. Josephs, Bucknell, West Chester and Bloomsburg. The team came in second in the tournament, losing only to the hosts. The team’s performance this past weekend has ranked Lafayette at number one out of 46 teams in its division.

This feat comes despite the team missing two key players in junior libero Theresa Chua and freshman middle Kathryn Wright due to injury.

“We made the creative decision to not play with a libero, which is kind of unusual but actually worked really well,” senior middle Nina Curko said. “Kyleigh Bowman, a freshman, and I ended up kind of splitting that position when I was in the back row. It was great that Kyleigh stepped up.”

“Everyone adapted to the changes really well,” senior outside hitter Becca Abel said.

The first match of the day was an unexpected win for the Leopards.

“We played Bloomsburg first, and they’re usually a decent competitor of ours,” Curko said. “We’ve split with them in the past, but this time we ended up winning.”

The team then went on to defeat St. Josephs by a significant margin. TCNJ was a tougher game for them, but the team pulled out the win.

“TCNJ was competition, but we covered our block very well and served very aggressively,” Curko said.

Moving on to their only loss of the day, Lafayette faced hosts Drexel.

“Drexel is a very good team, but we definitely kept on par with them,” Curko said.

Lafayette then went on to beat West Chester and Bucknell. Because this tournament was round robin and did not go into playoffs, at the end of the day, scores were determined by each team’s record. Lafayette came in second to Drexel, who only dropped one set to Bloomsburg.

“I feel like that was the best we’ve played. That was one of our best tournaments,” Abel said.

“The energy was strong throughout the entire day,” Curko added. “It’s always a challenge, but we do our best to communicate with each other.”

Both Abel and Curko said that serving is something they need to work on going forward.

“Recently we’ve been integrating spot serving in our practices, so I think there’s a lot of potential for that to improve,” Curko said. “I think covering our block was exceptional. Comparing the beginning of the semester to now, that’s something that makes such a big difference.”

Club volleyball will have a tournament at Rowan University on March 27 before moving on to Regionals on April 10.