Robert Morris falls to Northern Kentucky in Emotional Senior Day Match


The team huddles after a point in the 3-0 loss to Northern Kentucky Photo credit: Colby Sherwin

Evan Basista

MOON TOWNSHIP – Robert Morris concluded their season with a 3-0 loss on Senior Day to the Northern Kentucky Norse on Saturday afternoon at the UPMC Events Center.

Robert Morris (9-20, 2-15 Horizon) was met by a red-hot Northern Kentucky squad (16-12, 14-3) who had won eleven out of their last twelve games.

After the Colonials got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first set, they found themselves down 10-9 when the first timeout came after they challenged a play and lost. It seemed to stop RMU’s momentum. NKU stretched their lead to 15-10 and 20-13 before the Colonials called a timeout.

A few minutes later, RMU again challenged a play and lost as the score sat at 22-14. The Norse would end up winning the first set 25-16.

The second set was the closest of the three on the day, and the tempo of the play showed it. There was plenty of back-and-forth action, with neither team giving much of an edge. When the media timeout for the second set came, the score was 15-13 NKU. The set was tied at 21 when Northern Kentucky called a timeout, and RMU called a timeout shortly after with the score sitting at 24-22. The Norse ultimately got the next point and won the second set 25-22.

In the third and final set, things started to get tough again for the Colonials. NKU jumped out to a 7-2 lead before RMU called a timeout, and they called another with the score at 20-13. The Norse scored the next five points to close out the set at 25-13 and the match 3-0.

Abby Ryan led the Colonials with 10 kills, Allena Carmody led with 12 assists, and Kaitlyn Brown led with 12 digs.

“It was a battle,” said head coach Danny Doherty. “Northern Kentucky’s the second team in the conference and they showed it. They came out and did a lot of stuff that we just didn’t have an answer for, and unfortunately, that’s how that goes. We showed a lot of life towards the end of the first set and throughout the second set, and came out a little flat in the third set.”

Alyssa Hudak with her family after an emotional Senior Day ceremony postgame (Photo by Colby)

The team honored graduate student Alyssa Hudak in a ceremony after the game as part of the Senior Day festivities. It was the final game of her impressive Colonials career and an emotional day.

“It was really nice,” she said after the game. “The team really came together to support me. It was a good end to everything.”

When asked if she had a favorite moment or highlight, Hudak said, “I don’t think anything really stands out in particular, but I’ve made some lifelong friends from this program.”

The roster will have many familiar faces next season and is a young team overall. Doherty spoke on the youthfulness of the roster and the future ahead for the team,

“We’ve been talking about how this is the foundation,” Doherty said. “This is what we have and are going to grow with. We’ll lose Alyssa and she’s a key cog in what we’ve done and continued to be through this year. But I think that any time you’re on the court, you gain that valuable experience.”

“The record didn’t show exactly what I truly feel about the season. I think we were in a lot more matches. We dealt with a pretty crazy injury in the middle of the season, and it allowed us to kind of hit the reset button and do a couple of different things. All in all, I think it was a very good season. We have a lot of kids that want to fight, they’re gritty kids. It just shows that we think the program is going to be great.”

Robert Morris looks to rebound going into next season after showing promise in the early portion of the non-conference schedule.