Shepherd Volleyball (19-5, 8-2 MEC) played lights out in their battle against West Liberty (18-7, 7-3 MEC) here in Shepherdstown, Tuesday, Oct 16. The Rams won three out of the five sets to give them their 10th consecutive win.
The Lady Rams came out in their new pink uniforms with blue bottoms, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In the previous matchup between these two, West Liberty won three sets to one, as they were the hot team early on in the season.
At the start of the first set the Hilltoppers came out strong with a quick 9-to-3 lead. Junior Cam Hill had three straight points to get the Rams going offensively. “The most challenging thing the team deals with is starting strong and keeping the momentum. Last night we were able to finish each set with holding our own momentum and we hope to keep it that way when we play Wheeling Friday” said Hill.
West Liberty’s tall outside hitters made it hard for Shepherd defensively, which helped them take set one 25-19.
In set two, the Rams came out with more intensity, as both teams went back and forth scoring. Junior outside hitter Peyton Lindblad added to kills to give the Rams a 25-to-24 lead, which would help give the Rams the edge in set two 27-25. Lindblad led the Rams with 19 kills and three aces, continuing to have a dominant season.
The Rams carried over their momentum into the third set when sophomore middle hitter Nicole Murray had six of Shepherd’s 15 points midway in the third. Murray had a tough task on her hands in the middle, having a 6’5 and 6’1 middle blocker across the net.
The Rams were playing at their best, separating themselves from West Liberty in the third set. When Shepherd plays as one unit it is hard to defeat them, they constantly display great team chemistry.
Senior setter Becca Kern had 47 assists, setting her team up nicely on multiple occasions. Defensively junior libero Imani Major collected 16 digs, while freshman Georgia Ohmke had eight blocks.
The Hilltopers won the fourth set 25-21, forcing an additional fifth set, which is equivalent to overtime in other sports.
In the fifth set Major did a great job serving the ball as she added three aces, giving Shepherd lots of momentum. Linblad was in her bag as she accounted for five of the 15 total points. The Rams finished off West Liberty in the fifth set 15-4.
With this win, Shepherd became the No. 2 team in the MEC standings. The Rams look to add to their win streak when they face another tough opponent Wheeling Jesuit Friday here at home Oct 19.
Justin Cole is a Sports Reporter for the Picket, he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org