PITTSBURGH — The Southwestern University Pirates volleyball team closed its regular season with momentum, picking up two four-set wins in matches with Ohio Wesleyan and Geneseo.
Southwestern entered the day looking to diversify its attack, setting up its middle blockers on a variety of attack patterns. Pirates setters Lauren Crabtree and Jess Mayer orchestrated the game plan beautifully, helping Southwestern hit over .300 for the day.
"Getting Riley Brantley and Darby Stowers more sets in a better swing pattern was an area of emphasis for us," Head Coach Don Flora said. "Jess Mayer and Lauren Crabtree were more balanced in their setting rhythm today and hitting a combined .300 as a team shows growth for us all."
The Pirates also had a quality defensive performance, surrendering only a .155 hitting percentage, led by libero Ali Grona, who averaged just under five digs per set.
"We were way more dialed in defensively today with our systems and, most importantly, our eyes," Flora said. "This is critical as we prepare for the SCAC Tournament. Holding these two teams under .155 for the day was an important sign of our effort blocking and defending."
Southwestern 3, Ohio Wesleyan 1 (25-15, 30-32, 25-16, 25-15)
Southwestern was brutally efficient in the first set with 13 kills on a .545 clip, committed 10 errors in a close loss in the second set, took advantage of eight errors in the third, and overwhelmed with 16 kills on a .480 hitting percentage to close the match out.
Three different Pirates finished with 13 kills, led by Crabtree, who tied for a team-high five service aces and two block assists to score 19 points with 26 assists and 17 digs.
Mayer also had 26 assists and Grona had 17 digs and five assists.
Southwestern 3, SUNY Geneseo 1 (25-12, 18-25, 25-17, 25-12)
The Pirates scored a big win over SUNY Genesio, the sixth-ranked team in the New York region.
McGown led the Pirates with 33 kills on a .333 clip with 13 digs and a block assist for her second double-double of the day. Brantley had 10 kills on a .409 clip with a solo block and a block assist.
Crabtree had a team-high 22 assists with seven kills (.211) and 115 digs. Grona had 22 digs, seven assists, and two service aces. Stowers had eight kills (.385) and two block assists.
With the wins, the Pirates close their regular season with a 21-13 record. Southwestern will face Texas Lutheran University in the first round of the SCAC Tournament on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. in Seguin.