Jayhawks Take Care Of Visiting Genesee CC
Visiting Genesee Community College may have had near double the roster size of the Jamestown CC Jayhawks on Tuesday evening, but the numbers did not carry over to success on the volleyball court, as the hosts picked up a 25-14, 25-10, 25-15 NJCAA Region 3 Division III win.
Potent serving to begin the night led the way for the Jayhawks, with clean sets and extremely solid ball striking pushing Jamestown out to leads early and often.
Despite not having the numbers on her bench that she might like, head coach Ashley Lund has confidence in the players that she is able to put on the court.
“As far as the season, we’re playing really well together and with only seven (players),” she mentioned after watching her team remain unbeaten at home. “You are scared of what every match is going to bring because everyone seems to have just a huge bench in comparison to us. But these girls are working hard and they want to win, so they come out and play their hardest every time, and they haven’t let me down yet.”
It was sophomore outside hitter and former Southwestern Trojan SallyAnne Rudny who came out fired up on her home court, beginning the night with a pair of kills, which were followed up by two service aces off the hand of freshman Sierra Wells.
The early lead for the Jayhawks (6-0, 5-0) was then opened up by a series of well-played balls by freshman Kendyl Austin; which included an expertly returned serve, an easy kill thanks to the setting of Alyssa McCarthy, and a drop winner that stretched the lead to 7-3.
“Expectations are just to come out and play our game, every game, no matter who we are facing. Because if we don’t play our game then we can’t beat anybody,” said Lund.
While the Cougars did their best to hang with the hosts on a tip winner by Lyndsey Rowland and a kill by Sha-Ony Obispa, the ball-striking of the Jayhawks made any progress slow going.
Rudny continued to return fire with back-to-back kills that stretched the lead to 15-10, before closing out a long rally with an overhand winner. A mishandled ball deep on the baseline and a block falling wide were the deciding factors in the Cougars (3-3, 2-1) dropping the opener.
“That first match, if ideally we could play like that all throughout the season, then we’ll be all right,” Lund said of her team’s performance.
Jamestown CC began the middle set of the night in much the same fashion as the first, stretching an early lead behind an easy overhand kill by Wells, serving by MacKenzie Marsh and a block by Wells. Sitting on a 6-1 lead, the Jayhawks continued to fire home serves that the Cougars had difficulty returning. Marsh was able to pick up a service ace as well as a winner off a spike to make it 23-9 for Jamestown, which finished off the second set with a kill by Kaylin Brumagin.
While the Jayhawks were lacking in bench depth, Lund does not see that as a factor in her team’s energy level entering later sets and longer matches.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with fatigue,” said the Jamestown coach about her team’s start to the third set. “They have to play three games, a possible 15 sets in one day, so we’re prepared for playing one match, no doubt. I think it was just a matter of them just kind of finding a lull.”
While the Jayhawks may not have been quite as dominant as they were in the opening two frames, the Cougars were unable to capitalize. Genesee CC started the final set by missing a spike wide, and continued to have little success on attempted blocks.
With a kill and a two-handed winner by Austin and some more work at the service line as well as the net by Marsh, victory was not far away.
NOTES: For the Jayhawks, Wells finished with three aces, 33 assists, four kills, eight digs and one block; Rudny had one ace, 16 kills and 11 digs; Austin 10 kills and six digs; Marsh three aces, seven kills, two digs and one block; Sweeney two aces, seven kills and one dig; and Brumagin two kills and one block. … Tommi Rutherford grabbed five digs in the loss; Grace Zandrowicz three kills and two digs; and Abbie Royce three digs.