Volleyball up and down over the weekend

Oakland volleyball (11-7, 3-1) split a couple of matches over the weekend.

W 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19) at Wright State (6-10, 1-2), Sept. 30

Wright State got the first two points of the set and set the crowd cheering, but the Golden Grizzlies were able to tie it up at six. Both teams were evenly matched with strong defense and offense. Near the end of the set, Wright State was in the lead 22-19, but junior outside hitter Darien Bandel was able to make three kills, tying the game up 22-22. At the end of the set, Oakland won 25-23.

During the match, Bandel scored a career high of 23 kills and had a hitting percentage of .435. In total the Golden Grizzlies had 60 kills, 77 digs, 10 block assists and 58 assists during the match.

“We made plays when it counted,” Oakland head coach Rob Beam said in a GrizzVision interview. “Wright State is a really good team and they challenge you in a lot of ways. I thought that our team did a good job learning throughout the match, adjusting, and finished off really strong.”

L 3-0 (16-25, 14-25, 23-25) at Northern Kentucky (7-8, 1-3), Oct. 1

The Golden Grizzlies lost their first Horizon League match.

“[NKU was] extremely well prepared, and we didn’t do a good enough job getting our team ready to go, and expressing to them the urgency that you need to play tonight,” Beam said in a GrizzVision interview.

In the first set of the match NKU and Oakland were evenly matched, with NKU leading by one or two points and Oakland closing the gaps quickly. But toward the end of the set the Golden Grizzlies could not defend against the Norse offense, and soon NKU had a six-point lead. The Golden Grizzlies could not come back.

In the third and final set of the match the Golden Grizzlies came in hitting hard. Their strong defense and offense kept them in the lead against NKU until the end of the set, when NKU turned up their offensive skill and scored three straight kills against Oakland to put it 21-19, regain the lead and win the match.

“We’re going to make corrections, we’re going to get better,” Beam said. “I think we’re going to have a great week of practice, and look forward to getting back in the gym on Monday and trying to get this taste out of our mouths.”

Oakland’s next game is Oct. 7 against UIC in the O’rena at 6 p.m. ET. It’s Fleece & Thank You Night.