John Carroll University’s volleyball team faced a rigorous schedule recently with six matches in five days from Sept. 14 through Sept. 18, but they made their jobs look easy as they won all six matches in impressive fashion.
The first of six wins came on Sept. 14 against Ursuline College at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.
Senior setter Meredith McDiarmid was recognized briefly before the home match as she recently became the Blue Streaks’ all-time leader in assists. After the recognition for the lone senior on the team, the Blue Streaks swept the visiting Arrows in three games, winning the match by scores of 25-14, 26-24 and 25-16.
The JCU volleyball team then traveled to Delaware, Ohio the following night on Sept. 15 to square off against Ohio Wesleyan University. They seemed to have no trouble, sweeping the Battling Bishops in three games: 25-11, 25-20 and 25-17.
After a well-deserved day off, the Blue Streaks traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa. to compete in the Carnegie Mellon Crossover Tournament.
On day one of the tournament, JCU swept two more opponents as they defeated Trine University 25-23, 25-17 and 25-14 and the host Carnegie Mellon Tartans 26-24, 25-19 and 25-19.
Sophomore Sarah Slagle had a season-high 18 digs against Trine and sophomore Melanie Rodriguez had 29 digs, one shy of her career-high, against the Tartans.
After clean sweeps on day one, JCU didn’t show any signs of letting up as they defeated Allegheny College 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 24-26 and 15-7 in their first match. Finally, they knocked off Johns Hopkins University 26-24, 27-25, 18-25 and 25-19.
Whereas on day one it was the underclassmen standing out, the veterans highlighted day two.
Against Allegheny College, McDiarmid had an astounding 61 assists, her most in one match since 2007 and junior Kerry Fox had a career-best 23 attacks to contribute to the victory.
In their final match against Johns Hopkins, McDiarmid had 49 assists and Fox had 18 kills to help the Blue Streaks defeat the Blue Jays in four games.
“This past week has been crazy with the number of games we had,” McDiarmid said. “Our games on Tuesday and Wednesday were basically a warm-up for what we were going to see at Carnegie Mellon.”
With their recent run, the team has now won eight of their last 10 matches, including six in a row, and the team seems to be playing their best volleyball of the season.
“We have just been playing together as a team and just really playing one match at a time,” head coach Cally Plummer said. “Our main focus was to avenge previous years at Carnegie Mellon. We went 0-4 there last year.”
With the recent hot streak, the program is off to the best start since 1994 as they currently have a record of 12-4.
“It’s a great feeling. I’m so happy for the players and it’s showing that hard work in the spring and summer is paying off,” Plummer said. “We have a great group of freshmen, great leadership with Meredith [McDiarmid], Kerry [Fox] and Melanie [Rodriguez], as well as the others. It’s really just a great mix that’s working so far this season.”