Close only counts in horseshoes, not volleyball, which was unfortunate for the John Carroll University women’s volleyball team in their Sept. 9 match with Hiram College in the DeCarlo Varsity Center.
The Blue Streaks were swept in three games, but the match was much closer than it appears on the surface. JCU lost narrowly 25-17, 25-23 and 25-23 in the three games, and had early leads in both the second and third games.
The Blue Streaks, like good teams do, rebounded over the weekend to keep the ship steady.
They ultimately ended up finishing with a 2-2 record at the Marcia French Memorial Tournament, co-hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College and Case Western Reserve University.
All was well in Berea on Friday night. JCU had no real problem in going through Westminster College (25-13, 22-25, 25-18, 25-14) and Earlham College (25-18, 25-22, 25-15).
The Blue Streaks’ hot start cooled down a bit as the tournament was moved to Case Western on Saturday, losing to both the host Spartans (21-25, 25-21, 16-25, 18-25) and The College of Wooster (21-25, 13-25, 16-25).
And while a 2-2 start may not jump off the page as a success, it should be noted that the talent at the tournament was widespread.
“We saw some really great teams this past weekend,” said head coach Cally Plummer. “Overall, we took a few steps forward and a few steps back, but we’re still looking to build our consistency both physically and emotionally.”
Not using it as an excuse, Plummer pointed out that she has a young roster that features one senior and eight freshman, and the growing pains are inevitable.
“We faced some quality teams, but we’re still a young team that’s still learning to play and win,” she said.
The highlight of the weekend for the Blue Streaks, at least on an individual front, was lone senior Meredith McDiarmid setting a new school record for assists in a career.
In the final match on Saturday against the Scots from Wooster, McDiarmid climbed her way up to 3,491 career assists, surpassing Beth Cooper’s 3,486 assists from 2001-2004.
“Meredith makes me look good out there every day,” said Plummer. “As a coach, Meredith is the type of player you love to have because she’s such a great competitor and I know she is going to pad those stats even more before the season is over.”