A week after the Shippensburg University volleyball team swept Mercyhurst University out of Heiges Field House, the Raiders kept their brooms out for their weekend road trip in western Pennsylvania by sweeping both Edinboro and Slippery Rock universities, Friday and Saturday.
With the two sweeps over the weekend, SU is the only school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) to sweep the four PSAC Northwest Division schools (Edinboro, Gannon, Mercyhurst and Slippery Rock universities) and also one of three remaining unbeaten schools in the PSAC.
The sweep at PSAC rival Edinboro was the first by the Raiders in McComb Fieldhouse since 1989. It was also the first time SU swept the Fighting Scots for the first time since 2004.
With the win against Edinboro on Friday, SU ended a streak of eight straight matches that had been played all the way to five sets against the Fighting Scots.
Despite the sweep in three straight sets, scoring was tight throughout the night as the final scoring total favored SU by two points, 49-47.
The Raiders saw their toughest test of the night in the first set when the scoring was tied 14. SU quickly responded with a 3-0 run capped off by a kill from sophomore Gabriella Johnson. Edinboro, which failed to mount any comeback in the set, ended up trailing by at least two points for the rest of the set, as they surrendered an attack error to fall 25-22.
After falling 6-3 early in the second set, a dominant 16-4 run by SU flipped the script in the set as the Raiders began to pull away from Edinboro. Sophomore Samantha Webber had a kill off freshman Emily Hangen to extend the Raider lead to 20-13.
Edinboro would again commit an attack error, as the final point of a set, to give SU the set win, 25-19.
In the third and final set of the match, SU held off a high-powered Edinboro attack by scoring 10 of the final 15 points to take the set, 25-19.
Coming off her PSAC Central Division Volleyball Athlete of the Week award, junior Morgan DeFloria contributed 10 kills and nine digs with two block assists in the SU victory. The award comes as DeFloria’s first weekly award of her career and became the second consecutive Raider to earn the PSAC weekly award as sophomore Kendall Johnson was honored the week prior.
Webber led all players with 14 kills, hitting an exceptional 0.478, and three block assists. As a whole, the Raiders displayed a 0.260 hitting percentage on the night.
Hangen continued to display her talent as a freshman, as she was credited with 33 digs and 10 kills. Leading SU in digs was sophomore Megan Forstburg, as she contributed 13 of SU’s 51 digs.
The win against Edinboro, one of the top teams in the conference, came as a bit of revenge for the Raiders after Edinboro ended SU’s season last year. The Fighting Scots beat SU in the NCAA Atlantic Regionals last season in five sets, 3-2.
SU took care of business yet again during its second match of the weekend when it swept Slippery Rock in three sets, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22.
In the first set, the score was 13-13 before SU went on a 16-13 run finished off by a kill by Hangen. SU would follow the set with a 21-15 lead before finishing the set with a service ace.
The Raiders would take the second set with an identical score as the first, 25-18, which saw SU lead or tie the remainder of the set after going down 0-1.
Slippery Rock was unable to find any momentum against the Raiders in the third set as their closest chance at winning the set came when the score was tied 22-22. SU would, however, go on a 3-0 run to finish the set and match of two kills from Webber and one from DeFloria.
Leading the way again for SU was DeFloria, with a team high 18 kills, the team as a whole had 49 kills compared to Slippery Rock’s 30.
Webber joined DeFloria as the only two Raiders with double-digit kills as she had 11 of her own.
Hangen added to her season total with 45 assists during the match.
SU will now look to stay undefeated in the conference when it welcomes East Stroudsburg University on Friday evening at 7 p.m.