Vaughn Brewer, Sports Writer
The Rams (12-4) secured their first Mountain East Conference win of the season by defeating Fairmont State (9-6) through five sets by a score of 3-2.
It was another good outing by the Rams as their 12-4 record has them looking forward to the playoffs, although it is still early in the season. Shepherd did not get off to a good start in Tuesday’s match as the Rams fell behind after the first set 25-15.
However, the Rams fought back from the early disadvantage to win the second and third sets 25-20, and 25-16 to take hold of the match momentum.
The second set was the closest of the match as Shepherd won it 25-20 with senior outside hitter Amanda Snowden notching 18 total kills, which was tied for the team high on the night with sophomore outside hitter Cambriea Hill also adding 18. The kills Snowden and Hill proved crucial in a tight contest like this.
Sophomore Cambriea Hill led the Rams in a second category in Tuesday’s match, as she registered four serve aces, with senior middle hitter Christine Jackson notching three aces. As a team, the Rams had nine aces vs. Fairmont State’s four.
Rams sophomore middle hitter Seone Good added three blocks, which was good enough for second highest in the match with Fairmont State middle hitter Morgan Poling notching four in the losing effort.
Rams sophomore setter Jessica Karcz finished the game with a team high 44 assists. Fairmont State setter Alexa Gore edged Karcz out for the game high in assists as she had 47 assists in the loss.
Shepherd led in one of the more important statistical categories as three Rams registered over 20 digs, which are crucial for a good defense. Shepherd clearly stifled the Fairmont offense for periods of the game.
Top performers from Fairmont state include; Senior setter Mackenzie Harrison, Junior outside hitter Morgan Poling, and Junior Libero Megan Clerico. Harrison had 21 total digs, Poling had two aces and four blocks, and Clerico had 21 digs to all lead their team in the respective categories.
Rams Head volleyball coach Alex Hoekstra offered his comments post game on how to build off of Tuesday’s win.
“The goals we set during the week are to continue to polish up our individual skills and scout opponents weaknesses. Most of what we work on is what happens on our side of the net. That is what we have most control over. I might give our team 3 or 4 bullet points to help us score more points or remind them of our opponents tendencies. We watch game film everyday and it has helped with court awareness. Notre Dame and Urbana are always tough matches for us.”
The Rams next volleyball action is Friday, Oct. 6 as they head back on the road to take on Notre Dame college in Ohio.
Vaughn can be reached at email@example.com