By MICHAEL MORRIS
The University of Mary Washington volleyball team traveled to Virginia Wesleyan College on Saturday, Oct. 1, for a pair of weekend matches against Washington & Lee University and Virginia Wesleyan. The Eagles suffered a loss in their first match against the Generals 3-0 (27-25, 25-15, 25-18), but responded to overcome the host Marlins 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) in their second match of the day.
UMW sophomore Kaitlynn Wickersham racked up 19 kills and 22 digs in the pair of matches, while fellow sophomore Emily Shea added 25 digs. Senior Katie Shiflett totaled 49 assists to add to her UMW leading total and senior Tola Adebanjo also contributed 6 kills in each of Saturday’s matches.
“We beat ourselves against Washington & Lee,” Wickersham said. “We made mistakes. We didn’t have a lot of communication in the first game but we got it fixed for the second game.”
Junior Emily Shea received a blow to the face from the ball during the Eagles’ first game against the Generals and was forced to leave the game. Shea had already accumulated 16 digs before the injury forced her exit, and her absence forced the middle setters to play out of position while trying to cover the back line.
“It was a huge momentum shift,” Gomez said. “Everyone was kind of out of wack.”
But Shea returned for Mary Washington’s game against Virginia Wesleyan and was able to contribute to the Eagles’ win with eight digs.
“It felt like we finally came together. We really tried to emphasize the idea of a unit and play for each other,” said Gomez
The Eagles have fallen into a funk lately, losing three out of their last four games. However, Wickersham said that the team would focus on putting the losses behind them while working to develop a defense that could adjust to the strong offense of conference opponent York College. Mary Washington hosted the Spartans last night in the Anderson Center, but the game ended too late for results to be included in this issue.
UMW looks to recover from their recent slide with a series of hard practices before their next games this weekend at the Christopher Newport University Tournament, where Juniata College and Salisbury will also be competing.