The John Carroll University women’s volleyball team played like champions this past weekend at the Marcia French Invitational held at Case Western Reserve University. The team went 3-1 on the weekend, defeating Oberlin College, Westminster College and Franciscan University before losing to Bluffton University.
JCU’s first victory of the weekend was against Oberlin College, where they won the match in convincing fashion, sweeping the match three sets to none.
Junior Sarah Slagle had eight kills and one ace in the opening match and senior Kerry Fox had seven kills and one ace as well. Juniors Melanie Rodriguez and Emily Bendzak combined for 23 digs in the match, registering 15 and eight digs, respectively.
“The key to our success this weekend and in recent matches is how well we play together as a team and pick each other up,” said Slagle.
“Even though we have had some injuries and obstacles, we worked through them. We have had girls really step up in positions they have never played before and make a difference.”
The Blue Streaks’ next victory was a little more difficult to obtain, as they had to play all five games against Westminster College before winning the match in the fifth and final set.
“Westminster was our most challenging match because we went all five sets and we had to battle all the way through, but we fought back and were able to win the set,” said coach Cally Plummer. “This shows me that our team has a never-give-up mentality.”
After sweeping the competition, the Blue Streaks split their two matches the following day. The team started the day by defeating Franciscan University in four sets before losing to Bluffton University in four sets later that day.
A highlight of the weekend for JCU was Slagle being named to the All-Tournament Team after recording 42 kills in four matches and adding big contributions to the Blue Streaks’ successful weekend.
“It really is a great honor to be named All-Tournament Team. With every game we play, it’s a goal of mine to be a dominant hitter on the court and for my team to trust me to put the ball away,” said Slagle. “ I give a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches. If I didn’t have the solid defense behind me or the girls helping me to see the court, I could never have done that well.”
The Blue Streaks’ next three matches will be played on the road. This weekend the team will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. as they finish up the out of conference schedule. The team will begin the weekend facing off against Westminster College again on Friday, Sept. 16 before playing Carnegie Mellon University and Adrian College on Saturday, Sept. 17.