Volleyball aims for a strong finish

Nolan Potts, ‘Doah Staff Writer
October 22, 2014

'Doah photo courtesy of suhornets.com

‘Doah photo courtesy of suhornets.com

When you enter your freshman year of college, you feel like you have all the time in the world before your senior year. As an athlete, you are surrounded by senior teammates in your first year who tell you that time will fly by, and before you know it you will be in their shoes. Most freshmen completely disregard the seniors’ statements and think there is no way it will go by as fast as they say it will; then in the blink of an eye they are seniors. This holds true in any sport, and it certainly applies in the case of the S.U. women’s volleyball team. Samantha Schambach, one of four seniors on the team, is experiencing this situation right now as the regular season dwindles down. The fourth year player from Manassas, VA says that it seems like yesterday was her first day of preseason practice. “Everyone told me it would go by in the blink of an eye,” Schambach said,  “and I listened to them, but I never truly understood it until now that I am in the situation they were talking about.”

The Hornets’ ODAC record is currently 3-5, which puts them in eighth place in the conference standings. If the regular season were to end today, the ladies would clinch a berth in the ODAC Tournament, but they would have to face the team that holds the number one spot in the conference (currently Virginia Wesleyan). The team has three remaining conference games in which they can improve their conference seeding, but it will not be an easy task. On Oct. 24, they take on Randolph who is currently fifth in the standings, and the following day they play Lynchburg who is currently number four in the conference. Their final remaining ODAC game is Oct. 30 at home versus Hollins who hasn’t won a conference game yet this year. If the Hornets take care of business in those games, they should wrap up a spot in the conference tournament. “For our team to make it far in the ODAC Tournament we need to come together and play as a team,” Schambach stated. “We all have a love for the game; that is undeniable, and if we can show that passion through playing as a team then we will go far in the tournament.”

The squad has a number of ladies that are in the top ten in the ODAC in different statistical categories up to this point. Sophomore Rachel Cerretani is currently tied for seventh in assists with 476 and is sixth in assists per set with 7.68. Rachel Gross is fifth in service aces with 36 and tied for fourth in services aces per set with 0.47. Two middle blockers for the Hornets, sophomore Rachel Roberts (21) and junior Allie Pieper (20), are third and fourth respectively in solo blocks, and Pieper is tied for seventh in total blocks with 55 while Roberts is right behind her in a tenth place tie with 51. Roberts is second in the conference in blocks per set (0.86) while Pieper is sixth (0.71). Freshman libero Brandi Griffith is fifth in the ODAC in digs at the moment (353) and fourth in digs per set (4.53).

The ladies have two remaining home matches at Shingleton Gymnasium as their regular season comes to an end. On Oct. 28, they take on Goucher, and this will serve as the team’s annual Dig Pink game. Two days later they take on Hollins, which will be the team’s senior night. They will honor the four seniors (Shannon Cusick, Rachel Gross, Schambach and Ashleigh Tanis) before the game. Schambach says that she is not ready for her collegiate career to come to an end just yet. “My dream end to my career would be to have that ODAC Tournament championship trophy in my hands,” she said. Even if they fall short of winning the tournament, Schambach says that she will be thankful for her time at S.U. because of what lessons she has learned from being a key member of the volleyball team for four years. “I really want to be able to look back and be proud of everything I have accomplished,” she said. “I know I can say I am proud of myself and will take everything I learned on and off the court to better myself as a person.”

The ladies would love nothing more than to have a packed gym to play their final two home games in front of, so come out and support the volleyball team as they look to clinch a berth in the upcoming ODAC Tournament!

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