Volleyball caps weekend of wins with 3-0 victory over Wright State

Oakland volleyball (17-9, 9-3) won three sets against the Wright State Raiders (8-16, 3-8) on Saturday, Oct. 29, marking its second win this past weekend, putting the Golden Grizzlies at second in the Horizon League.

“We were focusing on being really intense, really focused, and it showed this weekend,” outside hitter Darien Bandel said. “We played absolutely amazing, the best I think we’ve played collectively over a weekend, and I think it’s just going to keep going from here.”

Right-side hitter Jessica Dood got a season high of 14 kills, beating her season high of 12 kills from the Northern Kentucky match the night before. Six-rotation outside hitter Melissa Deatsch got 13 kills and Bandel got 11.

The Raiders took control of the court during the first half of the first set through a combination of kills and Oakland attack errors. When the score was 9-5 Wright State, Oakland head coach Rob Beam called a timeout.

Oakland came back strong after the timeout and took the lead from the Raiders. Once the Golden Grizzlies found their momentum, Wright State could not keep up. Oakland won the first set of the match 25-20.

Still feeling the win from the first set, Oakland came into the second set displaying strong offensive skills. Bandel managed to get a service ace, tying the score at 2-2. Dood and Deatsch scored back-to-back points. The Golden Grizzlies kept increasing their lead over the Raiders until eventually the score was 22-12 Oakland.

The Raiders turned up their offense and rapidly came back, bringing the score to 24-18. The Golden Grizzlies won the set 25-18.

The third set started with Oakland scoring three points and Bandel getting her third service ace of the night. But Wright State entered the third set with the same intensity they had in the first. The Raiders blocked two attacks made by Oakland and Wright State’s Megan Hopkins made five kills during the set.

During the third set, Beam decided to challenge a call that the officials had made using the new challenge system that was implemented this year.

“Having not used any of my challenges, plus having two timeouts, I felt really good about using a challenge, even though I wasn’t sure there was actually a touch,” Beam said. “I just wanted to slow the momentum down, saving our timeouts for later.”

After reviewing the video of the play, the officials decided that the point would stay with Wright State. Oakland still managed to win the third set 25-20.

“We need to win every single match,” Deatsch said. “To us, we really wanted to make sure that if that energy isn’t natural, then we really need to force it so it becomes natural.”

The Golden Grizzlies will return to the O’rena to face Youngstown at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 4.