Volleyball defeats rival PFW on Crayon Drive night


Sophie Hume

The volleyball team celebrates after getting a point.

Brittany Kearfott, Sports Reporter

Long standing rival — the Purdue Fort Wayne (PFW) volleyball team — put up a tough battle in an attempt to win while visiting Grizzly territory on Tuesday, Sept. 28. 

PFW gave a good competition for set wins — the first two sets were nail biters. OU won set one 27-25. The second set was just as close, but OU lost 25-22. Set three and four were steep wins, with OU pulling out on top in a close set five with a 15-13 win.

The theme for the game was a crayon drive — the crayons get donated to local hospitals. Coloring is a great therapy for children to use while recovering to improve their mood and cope with what they are going through, and there are often crayon shortages in hospitals — as children who color with the crayons can not reuse them due to health risks. Unfortunately, they could reinfect themselves from the old bacteria they had when they were sicker, resulting in them staying sick longer.

Those who donated crayons were entered into a raffle drawing for a prize basket containing an Oakland University scarf, notebook, coffee mug, water bottle, pom pom and stuffed teddy bear.

In a postgame interview with Head Coach Rob Beam, he reflected on the game and their opponents.  

“The longest standing rivalry we have here with Oakland volleyball is with PFW, and I always expect a tight match,” Beam said. “Plus, in the winter season, they beat us twice with largely the same roster.” 

Senior Kerra Cornist had an especially exceptional game — totalling 14 kills and a .435 hitting percentage, a career high. Annabelle Tomei had 29 assists and 16 digs. OU had 85 digs through the duration of the game.

Beam was proud of how the players handled the pressure of the tight sets.

“I am proud of our student-athletes for their resiliency and making such a big change emotionally in set 4,” he said. “It is a [testament] to the quality of our team to find that under pressure.”

As far as communication and energy, Beam believed the team was able to find momentum.

“I thought we were flat for the first three sets, but that also has to do with how well PFW played. Once we found the right energy and were able to score some points with blocking and serving, it gave us a lift,” he said.

Beam further explained about the team’s communication saying,“our team has put a large emphasis on communication and connection this season. You can see it in our huddles, there is eye contact and positive body language everywhere. This makes such a difference because it creates trust among the group and a sense that we are doing it together rather than as individuals.”

In regard to if the game was a surprise or expected, Beam complimented PFW’s team.

“Fort Wayne is a quality team with experienced coaches,” he said. “Their record coming in was more a reflection of the injuries and external factors that have affected winning and losing.”