Volleyball wins 3 of 4 games in opening tournament

Category:  Sports
Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 11:57 AM
Volleyball wins 3 of 4 games in opening tournament by Madi Gross
The Edinboro team members block during the tournament. | Photo: Ben McCullough

The Edinboro Fighting Scots volleyball team opened their season this past weekend at home in the Rebich Investments Invitational tournament.

The Scots went 3-1 throughout the duration of the weekend.

In the week leading up to the tournament, head coach Missy Soboleski spoke to The Spectator about season expectations and preparation. “We’re very excited,” she said.

Soboleski also discussed areas the team had been working on and plans to continue working on as the 2019-20 campaign kicks into high gear. First, she mentioned consistency—specifically in the first contact. She added: “We want to apply a ton of pressure behind the service line, and then we want to pass well.”

The coach also stressed that “perfect effort” is something that’s important. “It doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect volleyball, but we want to always have perfect effort,” she said.

Among the handful of returning team members, the team also has six new freshmen on their roster. “We knew that we had a pretty strong freshman class coming in, but they’ve really done a great job in preseason,” said Soboleski. “I think you’re going to see some freshmen getting some considerable playing time.”

This was certainly true for the first tournament; a few of those freshmen led in statistical categories this weekend.

Sophomore Alicia Eldredge is confident about the 2019 season. “I’m expecting for everything to click,” she said.

Eldredge elaborated further, explaining that the team has been working on not only their volleyball skills, but their team chemistry as well, looking to strengthen communication on the court.

The sophomore then mentioned that she has a few personal goals for the season, including getting near the 1,000 assist mark. As a freshman, Eldredge recorded 916 assists, and after this weekend the sophomore is already over 100.

Communication was something freshman teammate Bella Burrelli also sees as critical.

“Communication and always bringing your full effort to every practice and to every game,” was listed as goals by the outside hitter.

Burrelli explained that she is very excited to begin her collegiate career. “I’m really excited for the whole team to get out there and play; we’ve been working really hard.” Burrelli would lead in several statistical categories throughout the weekend.

The team swept Salem University in their opener on Friday at noon by scores of 25-13, 25-13 and 25-11.

Returning Scot Cierah Jackson led the team in kills with a total of 12. Jackson was followed closely by Burrelli and Erica Sharp, who both recorded 8 kills in the win. Burrelli also led the team in aces (4), blocks (2) and digs (9). Sophomore Eldredge led in assists with a total of 26.

The Scots then returned to the court Friday night at 6 p.m. where they faced off against Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Moorhead grabbed the win in this match with a final score of 3-1; this would be the Fighting Scots’ first loss of the season.

Edinboro did start well, taking the first set, 25-18, but Moorhead would take the next three with close scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-20.

Jackson again led the team in kills (13), while Eldredge led in assists (34). Freshmen Bethany Miller led the team in aces with a total of 3, while Sharp led in blocks with a total of 6. Junior Molly Breier was another standout, totaling 10 digs.

The Fighting Scots stepped back on the court Saturday at noon to face off against Glenville State College. Edinboro would grab the second of their three sweeps, posting scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-23. Jackson once again led the team in kills (14), as well as in aces (2), while Eldredge recorded 3 blocks and 35 assists. Redshirt senior Abigail Horner led in digs with 6.

Edinboro finished the tournament with yet another sweep, this time in a win against West Virginia Wesleyan College at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Jackson led the team in kills (14) and aces (3), Eldredge led in assists (30), and Burrelli led in digs with 13. Junior Paige Morris led the team in blocks with 4. The Fighting Scots took the match with scores of 25-15, 25-18 and 25-18.

Alongside leading statistically in last weekend’s tournament, outside hitter Cierah Jackson was named PSAC Northwest Division Volleyball Athlete of the week.She led the team in kills her freshman year with a total of 420 as well as her sophomore year in which she had 323 kills. The junior earned All-PSAC honors in both of her previous years playing for the Fighting Scots.

The Fighting Scots sit at 3-1, while their season continues next weekend as they travel to Kingsville, Texas for the Emerald Beach Hotel-Javelina Invitational.

Both Burelli and Eldredge expressed their excitement in having the opportunity to participate in this tournament with their teammates. “I’m looking forward to us all going together, and going to Texas, and playing some good teams out there,” said Eldredge. The team has been documenting their trip to Texas on their Twitter account.

The Scots will return home on Sept. 20 for the Edinboro/Gannon Tournament.

Additional Photos:

Freshman Bethany Miller goes for the ball during the game against Salem. | Photo: Ben McCulloughFreshman Bell Burrelli hits the ball during the tournament. | Photo: Ben McCulloughThe Edinboro team members block during the tournament. | Photo: Ben McCulloughThe team celebrates after scoring a point during the tournament. | Photo: Ben McCulloughEdinboro won three games during the Rebich Investments Tournament. | Photo: Ben McCullough

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