By Gabi Eglinton, Contributing Writer
The Gettysburg College Volleyball team had a clean-sweep victory against the Bryn Mawr Owls on Saturday. In a series of three short matches, the Bullets took advantage of their team’s strong serves and hits for a fast-rallying game.
This win furthers their season record to a total of 16 wins and one loss, which occurred against the number-one Centennial Conference ranked McDaniel College two weeks ago.
The Bullets posted their highest number of aces for the season during this game, finishing with 18 total.
Gettysburg won the matches at 25-6, 25-8 and 25-20, respectively.
This game showcased the Bullets’ strong front line, led by senior setter Stephanie Blair. She provides the team with an average of 38 assists per game and offered eight in two matches on Saturday. Blair also contributed four kills to the game.
Blair worked alongside sophomore middle-hitter Shannon Fletcher for a series of double-blocks that the Owls were unable to return. Their cohesiveness and camaraderie contributed to four blocks and several strategically placed quickset-hit combinations.
In the back row, sophomore Melissa Tringali proved to be a valuable asset. Although rostered as a defensive specialist, she served as libero in Saturday’s game. Tringali contributed a series of digs and set-assists to total four points each for the Lady Bullets. Last season, she logged 106 digs for the Bullets, averaging 1.86 per set.
In a change of events, Head Coach Leah Bernier was not able to attend Saturday’s competition. She left the team in the hands of experienced Assistant Coach, Jenn McMonagle. McMonagle attended Penn State Mont Alto, where she was named the Penn State University Athletic Conference Setter of the Year in 2009.
“Jen really stepped up and showed us how much she’s capable of as a coach,” said first-year Allie Stranick. “We are all really excited about what she has to offer the team and the opportunities she’s given us.”
Such opportunities include an unusual deal between the Coach McMonagle and sophomore middle-hitter Kasey Higgins.
After dominating the first match by a large margin, Coach McMonagle agreed that if the Bullets kept the Owls at eight points or under during the second match, Higgins could switch out her standard blue uniform for the libero’s orange one.
The Gettysburg athletes accepted the challenge. They won 25-8, immediately celebrating on the court as Higgins ran out of the gym to change. In the third game, she contributed six digs from the back row.
“Seeing as we were winning by a lot, our team strategy was to execute all of our basic skills and continue to play at a high level,” Stranick said. “A lot of people who don’t normally start got this opportunity to play, and switching up the positions made the third game even more exciting!”
The third game posed the biggest challenge, as the Owls kept the match close at a 17-point tie until three-straight errors led to their demise.
Junior Rachel Gombatz contributed 10 assists to the final match.
This weekend the Bullets won most points on serves alone, striking down a total of eight aces throughout the course of the game.
First-year Maddie Buerle also demonstrated her skill set on Saturday, with six kills and two assists.
The Gettysburg College Volleyball team currently stands fourth in the Centennial Conference, only one win behind Muhlenberg College.
The lady Bullets will compete in two matches this Saturday, October 7, as they host Haverford College and Manhattanville College in the Bream Gym at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.