Volleyball Strides into Conference Play

Davidson Volleyball enjoys their winning season with strong performances from senior leaders. Photos by Elayna Daniels ‘21

Harrison Turner ‘22

Sports writer

The Davidson volleyball team opened conference play this past weekend with Duquesne and La Salle coming to town Friday and Sunday.

The Duquesne Dukes came into Baker on Friday night looking to get their first conference win; however, Mason Rooney ‘19 led the volleyball in a different direction. Davidson won in straight sets (25-19, 25-15, 25-12), dominating each with ease.

In the box score, the women proved the win was no fluke. They led every major category, including kills and assists, by a wide margin. Rooney led the ‘Cats in assists by setting up her teammates, namely Ellie Crosley ‘21 and Ciera Cockrell ‘19.

The duo combined for 24 kills and dominated close to the net. Crosley ranks near the top in the country in kill percentage (4th) as she continues to put her accuracy and strength on display week in and week out. The trio of Rooney, Crosley, and Cockrell is one teams should fear moving forward.

After the loss, the Dukes fell to 5-8 on the season, while the ‘Cats moved up to 7-4. After being forced to take a long time off the court due to two canceled games last week, the ‘Cats seem to have not skipped a beat.

However, Sunday’s contest provided a different result. La Salle came in with a strong game plan to limit Crosley and Cockrell, holding them to only nine combined kills. The ‘Cats remained competitive in the sweep, losing the second set in extended points.

Rooney and Hattie Rodriguez ‘22 stepped up and combined for 25 kills, but it wasn’t enough to bring the ‘Cats back. The Explorers won the last set 25-18, completing the sweep. La Salle led most every key stat in the box score, but not by a wide margin. After two hard fought early conference matches for the ‘Cats, the team will visit Dayton and Saint Louis next week to continue league play.

Looking elsewhere in the conference, Dayton and VCU were the only two teams to go undefeated on the weekend, putting them at 2-0 and at the top of the conference. Dayton beat both George Mason and George Washington each in four sets.

If the ‘Cats want to beat Dayton Friday night, they will need to keep an eye on Lauren Bruns. Her performances in both matches this past weekend awarded her A-10 Player of the Week honors, totaling 40 kills in her first two A-10 matches.

On the other hand, a different story played out for La Salle, losing to the same two opponents Dayton faced. The Billikens were swept by George Washington in straight sets Friday, coming up just short in each set.

On Sunday, the Billikens lost in the fifth set to George Mason after a very competitive match. Both of these squads will put up strong fights against the ‘Cats this weekend as each conference game continues to grow in importance.

The next home game for the Wildcats will be October 6th against VCU, where they will hopefully have two more A-10 wins under their belt.

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