By John Reed
SC Staff Writer
In the last week, the ESU Women’s volleyball team competed against a string of divisional rivals.
With two out of three games at home, the Warriors had an opportunity to play hard in front of their home crowd for the last time this season.
The competition this past week featured three PSAC opponents: Kutztown, Shippensburg, and Millersville.
The Warriors suffered defeat in all three matches despite being competitive throughout the contests.
Kutztown (L 0-3)
Senior outside hitter Abby Welch led the Warriors with 12 kills (.219 hit percentage) and freshman outside hitter Desiree Claxton chipped in 8 kills (.000 hit percentage), but ESU (6-21, 2-16) fell to Kutztown (12-14, 6-12) in three straight sets.
Senior Annabelle Charlton led the charge on the back end with 19 assists and 14 digs and junior libero Maddie Hutchison contributed 16 digs.
Despite being swept, the Warriors showed marked improvement throughout the contest. ESU opened with a dreadful hit percentage (-.043), but battled back into the match by steadily increasing the efficiency of their attacks through the last two sets and finished with an overall hit percentage of .079.
Aly York and Chelsea Braga led Kutztown with 9 and 8 kills respectively. Audrey Stringer and Zandria Zielinski posted 7 kills apiece.
Shippensburg (L 1-3)
Senior outside hitter Abby Welch put on a clinic as she waylaid the Raiders with 18 kills. She only committed three errors in her 38 attempts for an eye-popping hit percentage of .395.
Senior Annabelle Charlton put together another notable performance with 20 assists and 18 digs.
Freshman Desiree Claxton contributed 10 kills and 13 digs — for her ninth double-double this year — and Maddie Hutchison posted 21 digs.
The Warriors came out strong by winning the first set with a score of 26-24, but Shippensburg rallied in the next three sets to close out the match.
The sets were extremely competitive as the Raiders posted wins of 25-16, 25-20, and 27-25.
Taylor Gottshall, Faith Athey, and Annie Goerl led the Raiders with double-digit kills with 12, 11, and 10 respectively. Maura Nolan led all players with 41 assists.
Millersville (L 0-3)
On Senior Night, it was senior Abby Welch who stole the show for ESU with another efficient performance at the net.
She led all players with 17 kills, and she posted the highest hit percentage (.163) for the Warriors.
Despite stellar play from their seniors, ESU fell to Millersville in three consecutive sets.
The Warriors battled the Marauders tooth and nail until the bitter end, but Millersville proved too difficult as they won with scores of 25-16, 25-22, and 26-24.
Senior Annabelle Charlton contributed 19 assists and 9 digs, junior Maddie Hutchison had 22 digs, and freshman Desiree Claxton posted 7 kills and 15 digs.
The Warriors recognized their four seniors—Welch, Charlton, Elizabeth Higley, and Haley Mork—prior to the match. Mork added 8 digs, and Higley had 2 kills and 6 blocks.
Charlton ranks eighth at ESU in career assists (1,216) and has 537 career kills and 877 digs.
Abby Welch has 690 career kills and recorded her 32nd career match with 10+ kills. She had 18 kills in a four-set loss to Shippensburg on Friday night.
ESU is currently 6-23 (2-18 in PSAC play) heading into the final weekend of the 2014 season, the third under current head coach Allison Keeley.
The Warriors season concludes on Friday, November 7th and Saturday, November 8th as they travel to face Cheyney and West Chester at 7:00 PM and 1:00 PM respectively.
The Warriors will look to improve on their 2014 season when they take the court next fall for the 2015 season.
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