Volleyball gives a valiant effort but falls in last conference games

The Lawrence University Volleyball Team played their last pair of conference games this past weekend. On Friday, the Lady Vikes played host to the Grinnell College Pioneers while they faced the Cornell College Rams at home on Saturday. If the team could win the game on Friday against Grinnell, they would qualify for the conference tournament. Friday’s game was also the Play for a Cure game, so the Lady Vikes sported pink uniforms in the game.

Lawrence started out strong on Friday night, dominating the first set against Grinnell (14-7, 3-3 MWC). The Lady Vikes closed out their 25-13 win in the first set on a 10-3 run and had a .345 hitting percentage in the set. Lawrence got off to a strong start in the second set taking a 13-9 lead; however, Grinnell came roaring back to win the second set 25-19. In the third, Grinnell took an early 10-4 lead. The Lady Vikes battled back and were able to tie the set at 19. Nevertheless, it would not be enough as Grinnell finished the set strong and won the third set 25-21 to take a 2-1 lead in the game. Grinnell once again got out to a strong start in the fourth set, building up a 9-3 lead over Lawrence. The Lady Vikes slowly came back from behind, knotting the set at 17. The end was very even as it was tied up again at 21, but Grinnell came out on top 25-22 to win the set and the game.

On the offensive side, Lawrence was led by junior Arianna Neumeyer who had 23 kills in the game. Senior Arianna Cohen added 10 and senior Sydney Nelson led the team with 35 assists. On the defensive side, senior Cyra Bammer led the team with 16 digs while Nelson added 15 and Neumeyer added 10. Freshman Addisyn Gerber led the team with eight blocks including five solo blocks in the game.

Saturday’s opponent, Cornell, looked to be a tough matchup for the Lady Vikes as they had a 20-6 record including a perfect 8-0 record in conference play going into the game. Cornell started the game strong taking a 5-1 lead early in the first set. Lawrence was able to keep it close and went on a 5-0 run later in the set to cut Cornell’s lead to 20-19. However, Cornell was able to close out the set for a 25-22 win. The second set was super close as it was tied six times, but Cornell came out on top by a score of 25-21. In the third set, Cornell got out to an early 8-5 lead. Lawrence was able to tie it up multiple times later, but once again, Cornell got the best of the Lady Vikes at the end of the set, winning it 25-21 and the game 3-0.

Cohen led the team in kills with 10 while Neumeyer added five. Bammer had a match-high 24 digs and Neumeyer had another 12 digs to pace the Lady Vikes. Lawrence had 12 blocks in the game. Four of them were by Gerber while senior Colleen Nowlan added 3. Nelson led the team with 13 assists, while freshman Ashley Camling had 12.

“Both of our games this weekend were really tough matches. Our team played really well and played with a lot of heart. Although the end result didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, we are proud of the way we performed” said Nowlan. She added, “This season has been one of the most exciting and successful seasons that I have been a part of the last four years. Our team chemistry was great this year, and I loved going to practice because I got to spend time with 16 of my closest friends. Although we didn’t have the record we wanted, we had a lot of success that I am sure will carry over to next season. It was a great senior season, and I am truly so incredibly sad to see it end this year.”

With the two loses, Lawrence falls to 10-15 on the season and 5-4 in Midwest Conference play. They host the Lawrence Quadrangular on Saturday, Oct. 28 where they will face off against Edgewood at 1 p.m. and Lakeland at 3 p.m. to end their season.