Roadrunners 1-1 on opening day of Owens Invitational

Published 2:22 pm Saturday, September 2, 2023

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — The Southwestern Michigan College volleyball team went 1-1 on the first day of the Owens Invitational Friday.

The Roadrunners (7-3) swept Cuyahoga Community College 25-9, 25-13 and 25-13 before facing Edison State Community College. Southwestern won the open set of its second match, but then lost its momentum as the Chargers swept the final three sets to pick up the 3-1 win.

Edison State won 15-25, 25-14, 25-16 and 25-11. The Roadrunners had to sit five hours after its opening match due to play running behind on the courts.

“Overall, it was a good start today,” said SMC Coach Jenny Nate. “We took down Cuyahoga and were able to have balanced scoring and very consistent play, but when we faced off against Edison State, despite a strong start and winning the first set, we struggled to win runs and maintain our energy. They had strong hitters, and good block and were extremely scrappy. In order to beat a team like that, we have to be able to put the ball down from various spots and really mix up our offense.”

Nate said she and her coaching staff are still getting to know this team and who works well with each other.

“We got stuck in a few rotations at times, and we are still working to find a lineup that really gels,” she said. “This type of competition is exactly what we need this weekend. We need to be challenged in order to get better and get used to performing under pressure — defensively and offensively, and although every loss stings, we have to use it for good and let it make us better moving forward as we continue to capitalize on our strengths while we improve in some of our weaker areas.”

Freshman Sophia Deeds (Centreville) played well again for the Roadrunners as she had 22 points, seven kills, 10 digs, four aces and a pair of blocks. Sophomore Nikki Nate (Niles) led Southwestern with 19 kills, 37 digs, five blocks, eight points and three aces. Bianca Hobson (Kalamazoo/Loy Norrix) had 12 kills, 12 points, eight blocks, seven digs and three aces.

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