Women’s Volleyball Serves up a promising season

Womens Volleyball Serves up a promising season

Women’s volleyball at Mercy College has taken a huge step in the right direction this past season.  While posting an 11-20 record, this is only the second time in the last five years that the Mavericks posted double digit wins for the season.  It is a huge turnaround from their 3-26 record from last year, where they went without a win in the conference.

The team was powered by junior Brenna White who led the entire East Coast Conference in kills with 507 and kills per set, averaging 4.3.  She also accumulated 311 digs.  In addition to a great year, White was a conference weekly honor roll six times this season, with one of them being player of the week for week one.

Senior Mallorie Hopkins followed in her teammates footsteps by leading the conference in two categories as well.  Hopkins led the conference in digs with 538 and digs per set averaging 4.7.  Hopkins made the conference weekly honor roll in week two for her outstanding play.

Junior McKenna Ronan ranked fifth in the conference in assists tallying nine per set.  Ronan played extremely well this season and even though she was never recognized by the conference in their weekly honor roll, she is a player to watch out for next season.

Another standout for the Mavericks this season was senior Nicolette Gebhardt.  Despite a slow start in the first five weeks, Gebhardt turned it up in the next two months to close out the season, snatching a place on the conference weekly honor roll three times.

Other Mavericks who made the conferences weekly honor roll were senior Nicole Pepe, and junior Sonia Morales.

Despite posting a losing record for the past five seasons, the team did have several bright spots to their play this season.  In a match on Oct. 12, the team showed tremendous effort as they took conference rival Roberts Wesleyan to a 5-set thriller.  The Mavericks attacked early in the game but still found themselves trailing 13-9.  That is when senior Nicole Pepe took over at the serve, and tallied 10 straight points, with three of them coming off of service aces.  Roberts Wesleyan kept it close but it was a kill by senior Nicolette Gebhardt that gave the Mavericks the 1-0 lead.  Roberts Wesleyan stormed out to an early lead in the second set and eventually wound up winning the set, 25-10.  With both teams winning one set a piece, the Mavericks quickly regained the momentum from the first set and pulled off a win in the third set 25-23.  In the fourth set, Roberts Wesleyan jumped out to a 4-0 lead.  From there on, Roberts Wesleyan never looked back. They won the fourth set, and then went on to win the deciding fifth set, 15-8.  This proved to be a tough loss but some good did come out of it and senior Nicole Pepe set a career record with seven service aces.

This was not the only game the Mavericks would be pushed to the limit.

On Nov. 12, the Mavericks played host to conference rival Dowling in what would prove to be another volleyball thriller for Mercy.  As the first set began the Mavericks jumped out to a early lead, which at one point was 12-5.  Mercy closed out the set strong winning 25-13.  The second set began with the Mavericks taking a quick 4-0 lead.  The Mavericks then took a 10-4 lead, but Dowling began to claw back until the teams found themselves at a 17-17 tie.  Dowling attacked, ripping off an 8-2 run and won the set 25-20 and tie up the match.  Dowling did not let up and won the third set 25-15.  The Maverick controlled the fourth set, but a late rally by Dowling  had the Mavericks on their heels, but the still managed to hold on for the 26-24 set win, and forcing a fifth and final set to determine the winner of the match.  Mercy took a quick lead in the fifth set and lead 8-6 going in to the court change.  Dowling managed to put together a run and win the set 15-12 and also win the match.  In the defeat, sophomore Hana Brucaj posted a career high six blocks with three of them being solo blocks.

There is no doubt that the Mavericks have their work cut out for them.  Losing for seniors will not help either.  Players like Brenna White and McKenna Ronan are going to need to continue to play big if the Mavericks would like their success to continue.