Volleyball falls on senior night


Photo credit: David Auth

Tyler Gallo, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP — The Robert Morris Colonials volleyball team (11-18, 5-9 NEC) took on the Sacred Heart Pioneers (16-9, 9-5 NEC) in an NEC match-up. It was the final match for seniors Taylor Lord, Allie Yurkovich and Liz Campbell at RMU. In the senior night match, RMU battled well in the sets, but lost the match by the score of 3-1.

The first set started off even, but Sacred Heart pulled away in the end. Both teams traded 3-0 runs for the first half of the set. Late in the set, however, SHU pulled away, and had their largest lead of the set at eight, ultimately winning the set 25-17. Sarah Ciszek contributed 12 assists for SHU while Gianna Scioletti and Liisel Nelis each had four kills.

The second set started off very similar to the first, with both teams going back and forth again. After a 3-3 tie to start, RMU started to gain ground with a 6-4 run of their own and led for the first time since the beginning of the first set. No team really gained an advantage after this run, having a 5-5 run to follow this up. SHU took a timeout down 17-15, and this proved to be the turning point as the Pioneers pulled away with a 10-3 run and won the second set 25-20 to lead the match 2-0. Ciszek contributed another 24 assists for a two-set total of 36, and Nelis had nine kills for a two-set total of 14.

RMU looked to bounce back in the third set with their backs up against the wall. They came out yet again in the lead with a 6-4 run. A 5-5 run followed to make the set 11-9 in favor of the Colonials. An RMU 5-0 run immediately succeeded that as SHU took their first timeout as they were down 16-9. After the timeout, RMU fended off SHU with a 9-7 run, and RMU won the third set by the score of 25-16. Emma Granger was the standout of this set, as it seemed like no one could get the ball past her. She put up three solo blocks and five block assists. Whitney Brown also put up 17 assists in this set.

In the fourth set, RMU once again looked to stave off a loss with another strong set. A 5-5 run started the set, and the teams immediately followed it up with another 5-5 run to make the set 10-10. SHU pulled away after this with a 6-3 run to lead the set 16-13. RMU took a timeout hoping to slow Sacred Heart’s momentum. RMU went on an 11-10 run, but it was not enough as the Pioneers won the set 26-24, and the match 3-1. Liisel led the Pioneers with 20.5 points in the match, and Sarah Ciszek contributed 44 assists.

Following the game, seniors Liz Campbell, Taylor Lord and Allie Yurkovich were honored for their achievements at RMU. All three were members of the 2015 NEC Champion Colonials. Yurkovich ranks fourth all-time in RMU history for digs while Taylor Lord ranks ninth in service aces and seventh in digs all-time for RMU.

This match put an end to RMU’s season officially, as they went 5-9 in conference play and 11-18 altogether. They were already mathematically eliminated from the postseason when this match began. In Taylor Lord’s final game at RMU, she put up nine kills and nine points. As for the other two seniors, Liz Campbell put up one kill and 3.5 points and Allie Yurkovich had 10 digs in their final match.