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The Indiana University of Pennsylvania women’s volleyball team dropped matches against Gannon University and Mercyhurst University Friday and Saturday.
The Crimson Hawks fell in straight sets to both Gannon and Mercyhurst, and, as a result, the Crimson Hawks’ record fell to 4-16 overall and 1-8 in the conference.
In the contest at Gannon, IUP fell by identical scores of 25-17. The Golden Knights improved their record to 11-6 overall and 6-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
“Gannon did a great job. They are a very physical team and out-powered us,” IUP head coach Aline Scott said. “I thought we really couldn’t keep up with their physicality, and we ended up coming up short.”
In the first set, the Crimson Hawks came back from a 5-2 deficit and took a 6-5 lead.
Later, IUP held a 10-9 lead over the Golden Knights, but Gannon went on an 8-1 run and took back the lead at 17-10.
IUP battled back, but Gannon took the set 25-17.
Rallies were the theme of the match at Gannon. IUP managed to rally back in each set before ultimately falling.
“I think the aggressiveness towards Gannon helped us out,” Meghan Schneider (sophomore, psychology) said. “Unfortunately it didn’t stay for as long as we wanted it to, but in those spurts we gave Gannon a run for their money when we were going all out.”
Leading the way for the Crimson Hawks was Ericka Lentz (junior, athletic training).
Lentz and Elizabeth Sova (junior, math education) each earned eight kills against the Golden Knights, which led the team.
The performance from Lentz comes off the heels of an impressive showing at IUP’s previous game.
“She’s a very reliable player,” Scott said. “She’s very confident, and we can always count on her, and she is a big part of us.”
Lentz said she was just trying to play hard.
“I was try to play hard, give confidence to my team and really just be a consistent player,” she said.
Lindsay Moeller (freshman, elementary/special education) earned 25 assists while Kelly Barnes (senior, marketing) had a team-high 14 digs.
The Crimson Hawks stayed in Erie for a game against the Mercyhurst Lakers, who are 13-6 overall and 7-2 in PSAC play.
The Lakers defeated the Crimson Hawks by scores of 25-20, 25-13 and 25-17.
IUP came into the contest with a couple of new faces in the lineup.
“We had a completely different lineup against Mercyhurst, and I am glad for how they played,” Scott said. “Under the circumstances we were in, I thought we functioned well, but we didn’t have the offensive firepower to win.”
Much like the matches against Gannon, the Crimson Hawks kept the opening set close.
The Lakers took a 14-8 lead, but IUP rallied back with a 5-2 run to bring the deficit within three points.
The remaining sets were taken by the Lakers, who kept IUP from rallying.
The matches against the Lakers as well as the Golden Knights could prove to be valuable learning experiences.
“We definitely learned to come together as a team,” Schneider said. “We had a couple of changes in the lineup and played tough teams so I think we know how to help each other.”
Seven kills from Stephanie Kruzynski (sophomore, nursing) lead the Crimson Hawks. Lentz added six kills to her efficient weekend.
IUP will not be on the floor again until another PSAC crossover event, which starts in East Stroudsburg and ends with two games in Kutztown.
The team will face Cheyney University and East Stroudsburg University Friday Oct. 18 in East Stroudsburg.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, IUP will face West Chester University and Kutztown University.
Scott said the upcoming weekend is an odd one.
“It is an odd one because we play four matches so it very difficult to prepare for four teams in two days,” Scott said. “A lot of our practices will be focused on scouting our opponents.”