After two days in West Liberty and Wheeling West Virgina, the Clarion Golden Eagles volleyball team went 2-2 over the course of the Wheeling Jesuit tournament, advancing its overall record to 5-6. On Friday, the women dominated the day with both wins over Virginia-Wise and West Liberty University, while dropping the Saturday games to Wheeling Jesuit and Fairmont State.
First match was University of Virginia-Wise at 11 a.m. on Friday. Clarion won all three matches that were played with the respective scores of 25-15, 25-14, and 25-19.
The women dominated in every facet of the game. Team play was the most prominent aspect of the Golden Eagles’ game plan. The 32-19 differential in assists goes to show what great team work can lead to. Along with assists, the ace leaders Leah Vensel (5), Marissa Robertson (2), and Kaley Pittsley (2) contributed to the win with Clarion amassing 11 aces compared to Virginia-Wise’s 3.
Defensively, Clarion was unafraid to battle at the net to earn blocks which contributed to the win while Virginia-Wise couldn’t seem to stop anything when it came to blocking at the net. The 8-1 blocking stat shows the Golden Eagles were able to make Virginia-Wise’s blocking defense irrelevant throughout the matches, relying solely on digs. Clarion ousted Virginia-Wise in kills, leading them by 32-21 for 11 more kills during the meeting between these two teams. This was matchup was a great momentum builder which would then be carried on into the next game.
The second game was played later Friday at 3 p.m. against West Liberty. The first game between Clarion and West Liberty was a close 25-21, but Clarion turned up the heat with 25-17 and 25-15 performances to knock the West Liberty University. The Golden Eagles destroyed West Liberty in kills by 51-24, a little more than doubling its opponents.
Aces and blocks were relatives close with 5-3 and 4-8, respectively. Clarion showed its adversaries why team work wins matches and more than doubled the assists West Liberty had with 48-23. Leah Vensel led the way in assists with 26, while Kaley Pittsley piled on 16. To put that in perspective, Vensel, alone, had more assists than West Liberty’s entire team! Clarion’s defense was pushed this game. The team recorded a total of 59 digs throughout the series with Marissa Robertson leading the way defensively, totaling 21 digs to deny West Liberty points.
This coming week, Clarion will start to face-off against PSAC opponents. Although Clarion went 2-2 in the tournament, Clarion faced strong competition in Wheeling Jesuit who are the defending national champions. Coach Jennifer Mills remains optimistic about the results and said, “The strength of the preseason schedule has really given us focus for our practices and allowed us to identify and really work through some of the issues we are having.”