Golden Eagle volleyball comes out on top against PSAC foe Vulcans

Over the past four years, both the Clarion University and California University of Pennsylvania volleyball teams have been the cream of the crop in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

In fact, it almost seems that the only teams that can beat the Golden Eagles or the Vulcans are each other.

In the past four years, Clarion and CalU have gone a combined 114-30 in PSAC play.

Since 2012, Clarion has a combined 13 conference losses with six of those losses coming at the hands of the Vulcans.

The rivalry has become evident with the teams meeting a total of 11 times since 2012.

In those 11 matches, the teams have played a total of 42 sets in which are decided by and average of 4.8 points per set.

With both teams’ success, the rivalry goes far past the regular season.

CalU has taken the upper hand over Clarion in the PSAC and NCAA playoffs, while going 4-0 against the Golden Eagles in postseason play.

Senior libero Morgan Seybold has been around this rivalry since 2012 and recognizes the level of competition when the two teams take the court.

Seybold said, “CalU has been our biggest competition since I’ve been here, and no matter what kind of season the are having, they are tough and they fight.”

The most recent installment of the rivalry took place on Oct. 8 with the Golden Eagles coming out on top.

Clarion was led offensively by sophomores Gabrielle Olson, who had 12 kills, and Taylor Braunagel, who added 11 kills of her own.

Junior Kaley Pittsley acted as the quarterback of Clarion’s offense with 47 assists during the game.

Pittsley has had big shoes to fill after stepping in for Laura Subject.

“Losing Subject was a tough blow because of her experience, knowledge of the game, and consistent high energy levels. I believe Kaley is doing just fine and has stepped up immensely to continue leading the offense. She improves with each game, and I’m excited to see where we can go with her help this year,” Braunagel said.

Clarion then traveled to Seton Hill on Oct. 9 and lost to the Griffins in four sets.

Freshman Marissa Robertson led Clarion against Seton Hill with 17 kills.

Clarion has increased its strength of schedule this year and the record has mirrored that.

However, Seybold sees this as a positive going forward.

“This is the best competition in four years that I have seen all through the season, and it has done nothing but help us grow as a program. Some may say that we are having an  ‘off season,’ but honestly none of us see it that way.”

Seybold continued, “We have to work every single time we step on that court, and we have to fight and play together. The wins and losses will come, but we are growing and learning and I can’t help but to be proud of this program and my team,” Seybold said.

The Golden Eagles will continue their life away from Tippin Gymnasium with seven more matches away from home.

After that, the Golden Eagles will finish the season on a seven match home stand from Oct. 30 to Nov. 14.

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