By Ellin Youse
After three sets of intensely strategized rallying, Ohio Wesleyan’s volleyball team was unable to successfully combat Muskingum Wednesday, September 5 at Edwards Gym.
TheMuskingum Muskies won the game scoring 23-21 in the first set, 25-20 in the second, and 25-18 in the third set.
Muskingum began the first set with a 15-9 lead against the Bishops, followed by a strong rally by OWU to harbor in on the Muskies 15-17.
However, kills from Muskingum’s Hanna Rose and Katie Sidwell kept the Bishops at bay to finish out the first set 23-21.
The start of the second set saw a strong offensive attack from OWU, giving the Bishops a 10-6 lead. The Muskies quickly retorted, with a well-strategized strike targeting the Bishops’ defensive specialist, freshman Danielle Birney. Birney managed to initially stop the kills, but Muskingum gained a point running Birney around in long rallies.
The Bishops came out obviously determined once again in the third set, but after a series of blows by Muskingum and several defensive missteps, lost 25-18.
Senior middle hitter Ashley Haynes said it was it was a really tough mental game.
“Our chemistry as a team hadn’t quite clicked at the right moments and it’s hard to get that momentum back up once you’re down,” Haynes said.
Freshman Elizabeth Simmons said that, although the lady Bishops did not play their best, they still made the Muskies work for their win.
“We did not give up. We did keep fighting back,” Simmons said. “After Muskingum took the lead, it wasn’t like we put our heads down and were finished playing. We kept working hard even though things weren’t going our way during the game.”
Freshman libero Danielle Birney said the game could be used as a learning experience for the future.
“We didn’t play as a team,” Birney said. “We werent ready for the game like we thought we were, but we are taking this opportunity to better prepare ourselves for the upcoming obstacles.”
Senior setter Brittany Vickers said she agreed with Birney.
“We are a relatively young team and so we need to go into every game with confidence, but not cockiness, each game is an experience we need to learn from so we can continue to be successful as the season progresses,” Vickers said.
Although the Bishops lost Wednesday, they won three games during their opening tournament this weekend.