The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Volleyball dominates Loyola, falls to Navy on senior day

The Leopards celebrate their set win over the Greyhounds. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

This past weekend, Lafayette volleyball (8-14 overall, 5-10 Patriot League) defeated the Loyola Greyhounds 3-1 (25-23, 29-27, 23-25, 25-16) before falling to the Navy Midshipmen in a 0-3 shutout (23-25, 19-25, 24-26). 

Having lost three of their last four games, the Leopards came into the match against Loyola on Friday looking to shift the momentum in their favor.

The game started off competitive, with each team logging two offensive runs in the first set. The Maroon and White fell behind late as Loyola battled for a 23-20 advantage. However, the Leopards responded with a forceful 5-0 run to claim the all-important first set, 25-23.

Loyola went ahead in the middle of the second set, but again Lafayette responded to force overtime. Despite momentum in favor of the Green and Grey at 27-26, the Leopards scored three unanswered points to take the second set, 29-27. 

Set three saw the Leopards playing from behind, as they did not lead once during it. They tied it 21-21 but then quickly faded, dropping the set with a score of 25-23. 

Lafayette surged ahead in the final set, leading 16-10 and maintaining a sufficient gap for the remainder of the set to win it 25-16.

Senior right side hitter Grace Steurer valued the Leopards’ aggressive play in the final set. 

“I think the fourth [set] was my favorite because we just had the gas on. [The Greyhounds] didn’t know how to assert, they didn’t know how to pass our serves, they were hitting the ball out and we just took away all their energy,” she said. 

By the end of the match, freshman outside hitter Carol Ulichney had 14 kills and sophomore outside hitter Abby Nieporte had 13 kills. The 12 kills from Steurer and 10 kills from junior middle blocker Gracie Gibson likewise pushed the team to victory.

The following day, the Leopards laced up for their final home game of the season against Navy. For the senior day match, Steurer and senior middle blocker Mataya Megson were recognized for their dedication to Lafayette volleyball for the past four seasons.

The Maroon and White opened strong, leading 4-0 early on during set one. Navy responded, however, and eventually took the set 25-23. 

The next set was back and forth until Navy gained control, winning it 25-19.

The Leopards did not let up in the final set, coming back from a deficit to equalize at their 11th, 14th and 21st points. Lafayette saw their first lead at 24-23, but the Midshipmen captured the next three consecutive points. This was enough for them to earn the set win 26-24 and to solidify the shutout victory.

Megson recorded five kills and a block during Saturday’s contest, while Steurer was credited with three kills.

The seniors were proud of the team’s performance during the season.

“Our team changed a lot throughout this season, I think we did a good job adapting to whatever lineup the coaches chose, and we continuously kept positive mindsets to help each other succeed whether we were on or off the court,” Megson said. 

After graduation, Steurer looks to compete as a fifth-year at a different institution. Megson plans to earn a second bachelor’s degree in the healthcare field.

“It’s weird to think that my athletic journey is coming to an end in just a couple weeks,” Megson said. “I was really fortunate to play at a school with such great teammates, that’s what I will miss the absolute most.”

Lafayette will play its final game of the season against American in Washington, D.C. tonight at 6 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Colleen McNamara
Colleen McNamara, Staff Sports Writer/Copy Editor

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