Volleyball team takes two of three at Wid Guisler Invitational

With the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships coming up on Nov. 8, the Wid Guisler Invitational presented a barometer check for the women’s volleyball team.

At the weekend tournament held at Juniata College, the Tartans won two of their three games.

Last Friday, they defeated DeSales University 3–1 and won Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against Johns Hopkins University 3–2. Their one loss over the weekend came when they played host school Juniata College, ranked No. 11 in the nation.

“I think they were definitely beatable, if we had played our best,” said first-year middle blocker Jackie Gibbons.

Gibbons said that the team made too many errors, while Juniata played a much cleaner game. “They’re a very good team, so it was still a good chance to play them,” she added.

The Tartans dropped the first two sets 19–25 and 15–25, before rebounding to take the third set 25–23. They were unable to carry their momentum into the fourth set, however, losing the decisive set 15–25.

Junior right-side hitter Ali Celentano and senior outside hitter Senna Parsa led the Tartan attack with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, against Juniata. Senior defensive specialist and libero Ali Nichols led the team with 14 digs. Celentano also celebrated her 1,000th career kill over the weekend.

“It’s really exciting because she’s only a junior and she’ll have next year too,” Gibbons said. “She’s really smart about her hits. She sees an opportunity and she goes everywhere on the court.”

The Tartans hope that Celentano’s success will continue through important games, including the UAA Championships.

Over the next two weeks, the Tartans will focus on improving the finer details of their game.

“We need to improve our passing a little bit,” Gibbons said. “We need to work on keeping a faster game because when we play at a faster pace, that’s when we do our best.”

Johns Hopkins (9–11) was successful in slowing down the pace and drew out the game to five sets, though the Tartans could have put them away earlier.

They have a chance to show their improvements before the UAA Championships this Wednesday at home against Mount Aloysius College at 7 p.m.

After the weekend tournament, the Tartans are now 21–8 for the season. Nichols and Celentano were also named to the all-tournament team.