The John Carroll University volleyball team faced stiff competition last week and lost to rival Case Western Reserve University and Otterbein College last week.
The loss to Case was the second time the Spartans knocked off the Blue Streaks this season, also prevailing in the first meeting back on Sept. 11. The loss to Otterbein was the 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference opener.
While back-to-back losses may look discouraging on paper, the Blue Streaks played much better than one would think, but couldn’t quite pull off a win in either match.
On Tuesday, Sept. 28 the Blue Streaks traveled across town to Horsburgh Gymnasium to square off against the host Case Western Spartans.
JCU fell behind early, losing the first two games of the match before winning the next two games in the match to force a deciding fifth game. JCU lost narrowly (21-25, 25-27, 20-25, 20-25, 15-12).
With the win, the host Spartans improved their season record to 12 wins and three losses while the Blue Streaks fell to a record of 13 wins and seven losses.
On Friday, Oct. 1 the team played host to the visiting Cardinals of Otterbein to kickoff conference play.
Otterbein swept the match in three games, but the Blue Streaks held strong during the first two games before losing the third and final game of the match (25-20, 25-22, 25-13).
Senior Meredith McDiarmid led John Carroll with 21 assists in the match.
After losing both matches, the team has hit a five-game losing streak but still has time to turn their play around before postseason play begins on Nov. 2.
“Every team hits a rough patch every now and then and that was ours, but we plan to fight back and push ourselves even harder in upcoming games to prove what we are capable of,” said sophomore Sarah Slagle, who led the Blue Streaks with five kills against Otterbein University.
“We continually need to want and work to get better. We now know where our strengths and weaknesses are, it’s just a matter of turning our weaknesses into positives,” said coach Cally Plummer. “We have another opportunity to keep working today and tomorrow and every day in practice to get better.”
With eight regular season games remaining on the schedule, seven of them against conference opponents, every game is important as the Blue Streaks head toward postseason play.
“Every match is crucial. It’s almost like a do or die situation,” said Plummer. “We want to host [home games in the postseason], and the top four teams do that. Our conference is very interesting this year, but if we can finish in the top four, we will feel like we accomplished a goal.”
Editor’s Note: Just before this edition of The Carroll News went to print, the Blue Streaks played The College of Wooster. JCU lost to the Fighting Scots by a score of 3-1.Visit jcusports.com for full details of the game.