Eagles Only Drop Two Sets, Sweep Invitational
The Eagles swept their games this weekend, winning all three matches they played at the Wid Guisler Invitational.
The sixth-ranked Eagles won their game against Juniata College (Pa.) on Friday and continued to dominate with wins over Eastern University (Pa.) and Heidelberg University (Ohio) on Saturday. The team’s record now stands at 27-4 on the season.
“It was a tremendous trip,” Head Coach Jenny McDowell said. “I was really proud of the way they carried themselves over the trip and the way they competed.”
The team won every set in their first game of the Invitational versus Juniata on Friday, leaving the final score at 3-0 (31-29, 25-23, 25-14). Senior co-captain middle hitter Breanah Bourque led the Eagles to victory with 16 kills, followed by senior co-captain middle hitter Alex Duhl with 15.
“I think Juniata is a great rival game…and to come out there and beat them 3-0 that was a great accomplishment for our team,” McDowell said.
Freshman setter Sydney Miles aided with an impressive 31 assists. Sophomore outside hitter Cami Silverman and freshman libero Taylor Erwin defended the court with 14 digs each, followed by junior defensive specialist/libero Sarah Taub with 11 digs.
“We played well this weekend,” sophomore right side hitter Cat McGrath said. “But we also learned what we need to work on in order to improve in this last month of season.”
The Eagles continued their dominance with a win over Eastern University on Saturday. The team dropped only one set, taking the match with a score of 3-1 (20-25, 25-15, 25-1, 25-20).
Bourque led the way in kills with an impressive 17, followed by Silverman with 13. Duhl also contributed nine kills. Miles again set the team up for success with assists, totaling 46 for the game.
“Sydney Miles is one of the best setters in the country and she continues to set our offense at an extremely high level,” McDowell said.
Silverman contributed 14 digs in addition to her kills, followed by Erwin with 10 and Taub with seven.
The team took the last match of the weekend against Heidelberg at a final score of 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 26-28, 25-14) to sweep the Invitational. In an intense and tiring match, Bourque contributed 22 kills, and Silverman followed with 13. Duhl and sophomore middle/outside hitter Kate Bowman also helped bring the team to victory with 12 and 10 kills each.
Miles proved invaluable with a total of 49 assists in the game. Silverman kept up defense with an impressive 24 digs. Erwin and Bowman also kept the ball off of the ground with 18 and 15 digs, respectively.
“We were mentally tough and pushed through key games, which was really important,” said McGrath.
McDowell noted the importance of the team’s two captains, Duhl and Bourque.
“They clearly set themselves apart from any of competition,” McDowell said. “They were unbelievable.”
McGrath felt that, with the season coming to a close, the Eagles came out of the Invitational as a smarter and more prepared team.
“Now we really know what we need to work on, what our strengths are, and what we have to look forward to.”
McGrath remarked that the Eagles are prepared to bring what they learned from their wins this weekend into next weekend’s games, when they will be hosting the Emory University National Invitational.
After the Invitational, the team will have a week to recover before the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, hosted in the Woodruff P.E. Center (WoodPEC).
“We’re just looking forward and working extra hard on what we need to do in order to keep improving,” McGrath said.
The Emory University National Invitational starts on Friday, October 26th with an opening game against Wittenberg University (Ohio). The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be hosted at the WoodPEC.
— By Jenna Kingsley