Despite having no true libero on the active roster, the Blue Streaks volleyball team traveled to Ada, Ohio this past weekend to take on the host Ohio Northern University Polar Bears. In what was likely the Blue Streaks third to last match of the season, JCU came up short on the road as they fell to the Polar Bears by a score of 3-0.
With junior Mel Rodriguez out of the starting lineup due to injury, fellow junior Emily Bendzak stepped up and filled the libero position for the Blue Streaks in their contest against ONU.
In the first set of the game, the Blue Streaks and Polar Bears proved to be two evenly matched teams as JCU led late in the first set by a score of 22-21. ONU called a timeout to re-adjust to the Blue Streaks performance, and it worked just as they would have liked as ONU won the next four points and won the first set by a narrow score of 25-21.
The second set of the game was an even closer contest, as the two teams were tied at 26 even late in the set. Unfortunately for JCU, the Polar Bears again were able to escape the grasp of the Blue Streaks, taking the win in the second set by a score of 28-26.
The third and final set of the match was played in favor of the Polar Bears, as they jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the set and never looked back. From there, ONU won the third set by a score of 25-16 and clinched the match by a 3-0 score.
Sophomore Gina Catania had an impressive performance for JCU, leading the team with 11 kills on the day while seniors Kerry Fox and Laura Sudo also contributed with eight and seven kills, respectively. Bendzak also had an outstanding performance for the Blue Streaks in her fill-in role as libero, recording 28 digs on the day.
With the loss to ONU on Saturday, the Blue Streaks fall to 9-16 overall on the season. JCU’s next contest will be played on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 12 p.m. in the DeCarlo Varsity Center in what will be the Blue Streaks’ final match of the 2011 regular season.
Editors Note: On Tuesday, Oct. 25 the Blue Streaks traveled to Berea, Ohio to face the Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets where they lost to BW 3-0.