Volleyball picks up big win in Big Apple

Gabe Lehman

lehmanga@grinnell.edu

Margaret Giles ’18 in action earlier this season while Sydney McClendon ’16 looks on.  Photo by John Brady

Margaret Giles ’18 in action earlier this season while Sydney McClendon ’16 looks on.
Photo by John Brady

After a number of defeats, close calls and heartbreaks, the women’s volleyball team picked up some big wins in the Big Apple and Wisconsin over fall break.

“We put our game faces on and took care of business,” said Sydney Vrecenar ’18.

In a gritty performance that will surely be remembered as one of the shining moments of this season, Grinnell bested Beloit College three sets to one on Friday, Oct. 17, in Beloit, Wis. The match started out ominously for the Pioneers with Beloit winning the first set 25-23. Grinnell, which suffered many close losses, may have expected this match to go the same route. However, the women were determined to show that they were capable of breaking this trend, winning the next three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-23 respectively, ensuring their first official win of the season.

“They were not going to roll over for us,” said Ashleigh Bull ’17. “We were going to have to beat them.”

With eight kills, Vrecenar had a particular strong match, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that she was playing out of position.

“I usually am a defensive player and then in Beloit I hit outside because one of our players was sick,” she said. “It was super fun to get back into it and I was very pleasantly surprised with how well I played.”

Vrecenar, while taking center stage in the match, had plenty of help from her teammates. Olivia Fromm ’17 collected eight kills while Jennifer Joy ’16 finished with 19 digs. 

After their victory against Beloit, the Pioneers traveled east to New York City to take on Centenary College and Hunter College. The trip presented a challenging, but welcome, change of pace for the Pioneers. While the women generally only have to trudge a few minutes over to the Bear for their workouts, in New York they had to travel nearly an hour by subway to get to the gym.

The team took full advantage of the trip, sightseeing in New York City and networking at alumni events in the area. While they may have been in the city that never sleeps, the Pioneers showed that they were the team that never lets up, beating Centenary in convincing fashion: 25-15, 25-6 and 25-10. Fromm shined in particular against Centenary, notching a team high of ten kills while adding two blocks for good measure.