MARIETTA, OH – The Franciscan volleyball team opened 2018 with a pair of hard-fought losses to tough opponents, Friday night. The Lady Barons fell to Kenyon 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-23), before dropping a four-set match to West Va. Tech (23-25, 25-9, 25-16, 25-12).
"This team is so positive and fired up, I am just incredibly proud of them," remarked head coach Kelly Herrmann. "We were down in the final set against West Virginia Tech and the team was still celebrating every point like it was the first set. We may have some inconsistencies and everyone has something to work on, but they are playing very positive and forward-looking volleyball."
The Lady Barons worked through a new-look offense in the first match against Kenyon as several players shuffled around their position. Senior Maria Ciola and freshman Emma Birong led Franciscan with six kills each while senior Theresa Moore finished the day with eight assists. New to setting, freshman Marykate Taylor handed out six assists in her first match. Freshman Becky Murgia also settled into a new position on the court and had six digs as the libero for the opening match.
"Becky and Marykate did a really great job playing in brand new positions for us," continued Coach Herrmann. "Everyone has things to work on but I think we made some really good progress today."
Franciscan opened their match against West Va. Tech with a 25-23 win behind a more controlled and comfortable offense. WV Tech was able to take the final three sets for the match win.
Ciola turned in her first double-digit kill performance of the season as she led the Lady Barons with 12 kills, six assists, and eight digs. Murgia posted an impressive 17 digs from the back line as she found herself more comfortable in the starting libero position. Moore handed out 10 assists for the Lady Barons.
"We have another set of tough matched [today] but we are making good progress and will keep getting better," concluded Coach Herrmann.
The Lady Barons take on Marietta (11am) and Earlham (1pm) today at the River City Classic hosted by Marietta.