By Julian Bell
The FDU Women’s Volleyball team has endured a season marked by frustration and disappointment.
Unable to secure key victories during crucial moments in some of their previous matches, the Knights entered their 20th match of the season with more aggressive offensive tactics.
After the Knights swept St. Peters 3-0 in their second home game of season on Sept. 28, FDU’s losing streak came to a screeching halt as momentum slowly shifted in their favor.
Though the Knights suffered a tough loss against Robert Morris on Oct. 1, the women’s volleyball team made the necessary offensive and defensive adjustments that would earn them their second win of the season against St. Francis.
In the first set of the match, a kill made by junior middle hitter Taylor Wyckoff, earned the Knights their first point of the game.
The Colonials immediately answered back with a kill of their own made by senior opposite hitter April Krivoniak. Throughout the set, the Colonials relentlessly scored against the Knights. At one point, the Colonials scored six consecutive points, leaving the Knights unable to respond. Robert Morris won the first set 25-15.
The second set of the match proved to be just as bleak for the Knights, who were already off to a slow start. Similar to the first set, the Knights were the first to put points on the scoreboard.
After a kill by Colonial senior middle blocker Leah Dunivan was made, everything spiraled downward for FDU. After the play, RMU managed to score 10 unanswered points on the Knights, who still seemed to be adjusting to the fast-paced Colonials. Robert Morris won the second set 25-17. The Knights, with one more opportunity to make their presence known in the match, were unable to conjure up any strength to win the third set.
As the third set of the match ended in yet another 25-17 victory by Robert Morris, the Knights desperately needed more strategic offensive tactics. After they were swept by the Colonials 3-0, the hurting, but determined Knights would rely on some younger players to step up and lead their team to a victory over St. Francis.
In that match, the FDU Women’s Volleyball team made an incredible comeback, one that will surely be remembered. Desperate to learn from their mistakes from the previous match against RMU, the Knights played with patience and aggression that they had rarely showcased before. The Knights were relaxed, but focused; they were also confident, but intentional. St. Francis was in for a heart wrenching surprise.
As the Knights continued trading points with the Red Flash, the St. Francis offensive slowly began to fall apart. In fact, the Knights managed to score five unanswered points against the Red flash in the first set. Though the Knights came up short in the opening set 20-25, they had put up an incredible fight and it was this same fighting spirit that would cause them triumph by the end of the match.
As the second set commenced, the Knights were still off to a slow start. However, considerable plays were still made. FDU freshman Erika Sullivan made a tremendous kill early in the second set, which was just one of many successful scoring drives that the Knights managed to put together.
St. Francis began to dominate the remainder of the set as they managed to score nine consecutive unanswered points against the Knights.
SFU junior Sophia Esposito contributed to this scoring drive with a kill and a block. St. Francis was victorious over the Knights in the second set 25-11. However, as the Red Flash had already begun celebrating, the Knights had other plans.
The Knights, hurt but not defeated, engaged in a motivational team chant prior to the start of the third set. Then, all of a sudden, the momentum began to shift. Immediately, the Knights put together a four point scoring drive leaving St. Francis unable to respond. St. Francis fought fervently against the Knights, but their efforts simply were not enough against the highly determined Knights.
The third set ended in victory for the Knights as they beat St. Francis 26-24. This time, the match would go the distance.
During the fourth set, the Knights played relentlessly on offense and defense. A block made by FDU junior outside hitter Carly O’Sullivan at the beginning of the set, contributed to the Knights’ strong defensive strategy. In offensive terms, FDU freshman Emma Liller made an outstanding kill towards the opening of the fourth set. The Knights won the fourth set 25-23 went on to win the final set 15-7.
In a truly inspirational 3-2 victory over St. Francis, the Knights managed to score a total of 66 points with 54 kills and three aces.
Some key players that led to FDU’s victory over the Red Flash include FDU junior Taylor Wyckoff and freshman Emma Liller who each scored 11 kills in the match.
FDU freshman Kirstin Trabert had an astounding 31 assists and also helped lead the Knights in aces. Carly O’Sullivan made 31 digs in the match against St. Francis. The Knights, with their second win of the season, seek to win their first away game at Central Connecticut on Oct. 8.