LATROBE, Pa. – The Franciscan volleyball team battled through first-match jitters and fought hard against Muskingum and Westminster (Pa.) in the opening two matches of the season, but couldn't come away with a win as the Lady Barons dropped both matches, 3-0, Friday night.
The Lady Barons opened the season against a strong Muskingum team and worked through some early match errors, despite dropping the match, 3-0. Sophomore Maddie Raffa led Franciscan with eight kills while freshman Meghan Bayer had six and junior Maria Ciola finished off the match with four. The hitters adjusted to their new setter as freshman Sydney Riley finished off the Muskingum match with 22 assists in the three sets.
"Obviously our errors killed us today," commented head coach Kelly Herrmann. "But I am really proud of the girls for fighting through and continue to learn from their mistakes and get better as the match progressed."
Defensively, the Lady Barons were led by Maddy Demos with eight digs while Raffa had five and Ciola added in four. Bayer recorded FUS' only block in the match.
Franciscan played much cleaner volleyball, as coach Herrmann put it, in the second match of the night against Westminster. The Lady Barons cut down on their errors and played a more well-rounded match to end the night Friday.
Raffa, Bayer and Ciola each finished the night with eight kills while senior Monica Rigaud had six from the middle as she got more and more comfortable with her new setter. Riley posted 24 assists and a pair of service aces in the season match.
Once again Demos led the defense with nine digs while Raffa had five and Ciola and Riley each posted four. Rigaud had a solo block while Bayer had two block assists and Raffa and freshman Gaby Bridon each had one.
"We definitely improved as the night went on and I am incredibly proud of the girls for continuing to grow and get better. With two of the toughest matches out of the way, we can walk into Saturday's matches with a little more confidence and play a little bit more settled."
Franciscan wraps up the Bearcat Challenge today with a match against Waynesburg at 10am and host St. Vincent at 2pm.