Finding its groove

The Shippensburg University volleyball team pushed its win streak to seven after defeating Mercyhurst University, but then dropped its next contest to Edinboro University on Saturday.

The team began its first PSAC crossover weekend of the season Friday night with a four-set victory over MU from Koehler Fieldhouse on the campus of East Stroudsburg University. Set scores were 25-16, 25-21, 19-25 and 25-22.

The Raiders did not post a negative hitting percentage in any set and tallied 10.5 blocks to edge a MU squad that entered Friday having lost just once through its first 13 games of the season.

Senior Rachel Smicker was outstanding on Friday night, ripping nine kills and just one error for a .308 hitting percentage in addition to seven block assists. Smicker also had three digs and two assists.

Junior Jill Edwards had a dynamic evening with a game-high 13 kills on just two errors and 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. The reigning Daktronics Atlantic Region Player of the Year hit .244 on Friday night and is swinging an impressive .183 through 520 attempts thus far in 2012.

Seniors Andrea Heimsoth and Lauren Murphy continue to provide outstanding play for the Raiders. Heimsoth had 28 assists and 20 digs, while Murphy had 19 digs. Freshman Natasha Gibble impressed once again with her play from the back row with 11 digs and a match-high three service aces.

Freshman Taylor Gottshall added seven more block assists, bringing her season total to 43 through just 13 matches. Gottshall entered the week ranked fifth among all individuals in Division II for blocks per set.

After defeating MU on Friday, the Raiders finished its first PSAC crossover weekend of the season with a straight-set loss to Gannon University and a five-set defeat to Edinboro University.

Set scores were 16-25, 15-25 and 24-26 vs. the Golden Knights and 19-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-17 vs. the Fighting Scots.

The Raiders received 21 kills from Edwards and 13 from senior Erin Flick on the afternoon, while Heimsoth posted 58 total assists.

The Raiders host Millersville University tonight at 7 p.m. from Heiges Field House.

-Courtesy of SU Sports Information

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