Volleyball loses 3-1 on senior night

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Volleyball loses 3-1 on senior night

Oakland volleyball takes on the Wright State Raiders for their senior night match in the O’rena on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Oakland volleyball takes on the Wright State Raiders for their senior night match in the O’rena on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Sophie Hume

Oakland volleyball takes on the Wright State Raiders for their senior night match in the O’rena on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Sophie Hume

Sophie Hume

Oakland volleyball takes on the Wright State Raiders for their senior night match in the O’rena on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Rohan Mohan, Contributor

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A modest crowd welcomed the Wright State Raiders to the O’rena on Saturday afternoon for senior night as seniors from both teams were welcomed with a bouquet of flowers. Megan Hobler, Courtney Wightman, Mackenzie Schneider and Taylor Dellinger will graduate from Oakland University this spring. The Golden Grizzlies lost the senior night match to the Raiders, three sets to one. 

Dellinger led Oakland in kills, collecting 14 over the course of the game. Jamie Walling recorded 11 kills on 34 attempts. Kenzie Dunn tallied 21 assists while AnnaBelle Tomei added 15. Defensively, Lindsay Wightman led the Grizzlies with 18 digs while Brittany Welch summed 12 over the course of the game.

Oakland took an early lead in the first set, but Wright State struck back with eight unanswered points, taking an 18-10 lead. Two timeouts by Head Coach Rob Beam seemed to refocus the Golden Grizzlies as they overcame the deficit and won the first set by a narrow two point gap, 25-23.

The second set was back and forth with five lead changes throughout the set. Wright State led for most of the second set, leading by as much as seven points at one point, 14-7. Oakland came back later in the set, taking a 22-21 lead toward the end of the set. After a highly contested battle, the Raiders reclaimed the lead and took the second set, 25-23.

The Raiders pulled away from the Golden Grizzlies in the third set. At one point, they built a 13-point lead against their opponents, up 18-5. Wright State’s Lainey Stephenson recorded nine digs in the third set, leading her team to a third set victory, 25-16.

Oakland put up a fight to start the fourth set, keeping their opponents within two points early on. Later in the set, Wright State was able to pull away, creating a nine-point deficit for the Golden Grizzlies. The Raiders maintained this lead for the rest of the set, helping them win the fourth and final set, 25-14. 

Head Coach Rob Beam spoke about the impact of his seniors after their last home match in the regular season.

“It doesn’t matter how much they played, it doesn’t matter if they set records,” Beam said. “It’s always about the experience, maturity and the lessons learned that accumulate over time. Some of those are academic, some are personal growth, some are athletic. It’s about things that have to do with execution, and we’re gonna miss all the seniors.” 

Dellinger and Hobler spoke about what they will miss most about playing volleyball for Oakland. Hobler will miss playing with her best friends.

“I’m gonna miss the sisterhood of our team the most,” Hobler said. “It’s like 18 best friends.” 

Dellinger will transition into the team’s graduate assistant role next year, but she was still bittersweet about the end of her playing career. 

“It’s sad that it’s my last time playing on the home court,” Dellinger said. “I was playing with 18 of my best friends, which is the sad part about it.”