By Julian Bell
The FDU women’s volleyball team has had a rough season so far. Currently experiencing a 14-game losing streak, the Knights are desperate to win their first match of the season. However, their performance against La Salle (8-4) on Wednesday was impressive, considering La Salle dominated in the first two sets of the match. If FDU were expected to win any match this season, it would have been the one against La Salle at home. Although the Explorers were triumphant in a 3-2 victory over FDU, the Knights persevered towards the end of the match.
Once the first match began, La Salle was on a roll. Play after play was executed successfully with still no answer from FDU. La Salle was up 3-0 during the first few moments of the game. Then, the Knights slowly found their rhythm. FDU senior middle hitter Caroline Laton scored the first point for the Knights with her first kill of the game. The Knights scored again soon afterward still leaving La Salle in the lead 3-2.
La Salle then scored three straight times during the first set then leading 6-2. La Salle’s Jennifer Edwards scored a successful kill which began their second short scoring streak of the first set. La Salle won the first set 25-23 while the Knights prepared for the second game.
The second set began with another kill by Laton. However, La Salle quickly responded with a kill by Madison Kuch. La Salle still proved formidable in the second game as they managed to score six straight times before FDU responded. Likewise, FDU scored four straight times on two separate occasions before the Explorers managed to score again. The second match quickly became an all-out war, and La Salle came out on top this time, 25-22.
Once the third set began, the Knights played with an effective game plan. It was still a somewhat slow start as La Salle quickly began accumulating points. However, the Knights, still undeterred, won the third set of the night 25-23 over La Salle. The set ended with a kill by FDU sophomore Rebecca Sabol. The Knights had hope.
FDU completely dominated the fourth set, winning over La Salle by an astounding 25-12. FDU freshman Erika Sullivan made two kills in the fourth set while Sabol scored five kills. Laton also played a dominant fourth set with four kills. The match quickly started heating up as FDU made an impressive comeback with the match now tied at 2-2.
The fifth set would determine who won the match and La Salle quickly gathered a second wind. The Knights desperately held on and scored whenever an opportunity arose. But, the Explorers were too methodical and were victorious over the Knights in the in fifth set 15-13. FDU fans were heartbroken, but still impressed by the Knights’ gutsy home performance. As a team, the Knights had 61 kills while La Salle made 56. FDU scored 69 points while La Salle scored 65. Caroline Laton and Rebecca Sabol led the Knights in kills, each with 15. FDU junior outside hitter Carly O’Sullivan made 34 digs that night against La Salle.
As the women’s volleyball team prepares for their match against Rider University, the team must focus on securing their first win while leaving the losses behind them. FDU had a high scoring game against La Salle but the Knights were unable to secure a victory in the final crucial moments of the game. The Knights still have 18 matches ahead of them, nine of which will be played at home. If the Knights play with the determination they played with against La Salle in their next upcoming games, a few minor adjustments will send them to the NEC tournament.