Volleyball evenly sweeps Western in home opener


Mary Mitchell

Oakland beat Western Michigan 3-0 at home on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Sam Schlenner, Sports Editor

Oakland volleyball (5-6) beat Western Michigan (3-8) 3-0 in front of a crowd of 305 in the home opener on Tuesday night. It was the Golden Grizzlies’ sixth-straight home-opener victory. The all-time series against Western stands at 10-1.

Melissa Deatsch led the offensive activity with 24 total attempts, 10 kills and six errors. Sammy Condon followed up with eight kills and three errors. Jessica Dood had seven kills and one error.

Jordan Lentz dominated the set game with 31 assists out of 34 on the team. She had two kills.

Krysteena Davis had eight block assists of the 22 on the team.

The first set stayed relatively close and tied at 18, but Oakland scored four in a row and maintained the space until closing the set at 25-20.

The Golden Grizzlies went off on a 4-0 run to open the second set and mostly kept the space throughout the set, which finished at 25-18.

The third set began closer. The turning point came when the score was 8-6 Oakland.

Western made four errors in a row, three attack errors and a reception error. To push it to 11-6, Darien Bandel and Davis both made two block assists.

Davis’ and Bandel’s blocking compensated for the lack of service aces (six total versus seven serving errors), where the Golden Grizzlies usually supplement points, head coach Rob Beam said.

Western called a timeout after losing the four rallies in a row. The Broncos brought it back to 23-21 on an attack error from Deatsch, but then Oakland scored two in a row and sealed the deal.

Oakland never let Western take complete control of the game.

“A lot of it just comes down to the group of athletes being mentally tough enough to calm down when they’re in the timeout, listen to instruction, collect themselves and then go execute,” Beam said. “And they did that really well tonight.”

Oakland has worked on the mental game, Davis said.

“Rob has us do drills where one team is down by four points, and then they have to get back in it,” she said.

Apparently the drills work for maintaining a four-point lead as well.