KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Playing its final two Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matches this weekend, the Kutztown University women’s volleyball team welcomes Cheyney University and Salem University as part of a triangular on Friday afternoon before hosting the West Chester University Golden Rams on Saturday afternoon for its last match of the season which will include Senior Day festivities.
Friday’s schedule will be as follows, KU vs. Cheyney at 1 p.m., Cheyney vs. Salem at 3 p.m. and KU vs. Salem at 5 p.m. to conclude the triangular. Saturday’s match against WCU is scheduled for 1 p.m. with the Senior Day festivities occurring just prior to the match.
In its last two matches, KU (8-20, 3-13 PSAC) has been playing its best volleyball of the season, especially on the offensive end. Against The Rock of Slippery Rock University (Nov. 4) and the East Stroudsburg University Warriors (Nov. 7), the Golden Bears racked up 120 combined kills in nine sets of action, an average of 13.3 kills per set. In a four-set triumph over SRU, the Maroon and Gold posted 61 kills and a .253 attack percentage, both of which totals rank in the top-four for a match this season.
Individually, Holly Owen and Brittney Moyer continue to pace the attack, combining for 67 kills in the matches against SRU and ESU. For her efforts against Slippery Rock, Owen was honored by the PSAC as its Southeast Division Athlete of the Week following an 18-kill performance in which she hit at a blistering .472 clip.
Against the Warriors, Moyer and freshman Sydney Wilson both eclipsed milestones in a dramatic five-set thriller on Tuesdayevening. Moyer reached the 1,000-kill mark for her career, which includes her freshman season at Lock Haven University, recording 20 kills to lead Kutztown in the match. Wilson, a first-year libero, continues to climb the all-time digs in a season list, now sitting at No. 3, and passed Nicole Biuso for most-ever digs by a freshman with a season-high 36 against ESU.
The first match of the weekend for KU pits it against the Cheyney Wolves (0-22, 0-15 PSAC) in the second meeting between these two sides this season. In the previous matchup on Oct. 21, Kutztown secured its third sweep of 2017, dispatching the Wolves in straight sets. Aggressive play from the service line was the story in this tilt, as the Maroon and Gold racked up 17 service aces in the match. Virshawna Campbell leads the Cheyney offense with 152 kills on the season, averaging 2.45 kills per set.
The Golden Bears will then meet the Salem Tigers (8-23) in Friday’s nightcap directly following a midday match between the Tigers and the Wolves. Hailing from Salem, West Virginia, the Tigers will be unfamiliar competition for KU, as they compete independently in what will be a rare non-conference affair this late in the season. Rachel Hess is the go-to player for the Tigers, an outside hitter who has racked up 298 kills, an average of 3.07 kills per set, this season. In a look at KU and SU’s common opponents, both teams defeated Bowie State University earlier this season and Kutztown won in five sets over Shepherd University at its home tournament while Salem was clipped by Shepherd in four sets on Sept. 30.
Saturday will mark the conclusion of the 2017 campaign, as seniors Madisyn Kleinfelter and Carly Shortridge will be honored pregame, before the Maroon and Gold take on PSAC Southeast Division-champion WCU (21-7, 10-6 PSAC). On Oct. 20, Kutztown took the first set, 25-18, against the Golden Rams before dropping the final three frames, suffering a four-set defeat. Moyer and Alli Henderson combined for 22 of 33 overall kills in the match and Wilson scooped up 25 digs on the backline.
For West Chester, Karleigh Lutz, who had 18 kills in the match, leads the Golden Rams with 329 kills on the season, an average of 3.39 kills per set, of which ranks seventh in the PSAC. Libero Nicki Yates has racked up 533 digs and her average of 5.77 digs per set is also amongst the best in the PSAC.