Edinboro volleyball defeated Clarion in a nailbiter Friday night in McComb Fieldhouse, allowing the Fighting Scots to continue one of its best starts in years. The win moved Boro to 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the PSAC.
“This was a big week of preparing for Clarion and IUP. They are big and physical teams with a lot of power,” head women’s volleyball coach Missy Soboleski said after the match. “We knew we had to focus on staying in system, but also just outlasting them defensively.”
The Scots defeated the Golden Eagles 25-12 in the first set.
The Scots came out ready to play, starting 5-0 before Clarion called a timeout. The Scots cruised to a first set victory as Eiley Durham aced the set point serve, concluding the Scots win, 25-12.
The next set was one of the next three that ended in a two-point difference; this game was one of the two that ended in extra points. The Scots came up short by two, losing this game 27-25.
The third set continued to be an intense battle between the teams, but Edinboro came out on top, winning 25-23. The Scots were down 20-15 before coming back from the deficit. The Eagles called a timeout, leading 20-17, and Trathen came right back out on fire, with a kill making it 20-18. The score was then tied at 23 after a serving error from Clarion. Litwiler came back with back-to-back kills to wrap up the set, 25-23.
“Megan [Screptock], Marah [Maycock], Sydney and Challen did a great job behind the block, keeping the ball off the ground and that’s very frustrating for a hitter. It also came down to our ability to control the first ball, which allowed us to stay very aggressive at the net,” Soboleski said.
The fourth set wasn’t any easier. The Scots came out on top, 29-27, but they were one point away from having to go into a fifth and deciding set when Clarion was up 27-26.
When the score was 25- 25 Edinboro had a passing error making it 26-25, before Trathen had a big block for the Scots, tying it back up. Clarion had a kill putting them up again for set point, but Litwiler came back with a kill of her own. With Severo serving for the Scots at a tied up fourth set, Litwiler had another kill before Hutchinson had the match winning kill for the Scots.
“Our passing kept us in the game,” Hutchinson said. “Clarion is tough. They took us out the second set, but we didn’t dwell on it, we just kept pushing. The energy in the gym and our bench kept our energy up and us in high spirits.”
Soboleski, pleased with her athletes’ performances added, “Challen, Vic and Latoya did a great job offensively; all three had impressive numbers. Sydney did a great job running the offense and delivering hittable balls and Marah did a great job leading us defensively.”
Litwiler ended the match with 20 kills and a pair of blocks. Hutchinson added 16 kills and a .481 hitting percentage, with three block assists. Trathen had 48 assists, three aces and four total blocks. Maycock contributed 14 digs and Megan Screptock had 10.
The squad visited Slippery Rock Tuesday night, after deadline for this issue, and host Gannon on Friday night and Mercyhurst on Saturday night. Both of those matches begin at 7 p.m. in McComb Fieldhouse.
Becca Martin is a Copy Editor for The Spectator.