Women’s volleyball drops match to Northern Kentucky


Ayman Ishimwe

The volleyball team celebrates after getting a point against UIC on Oct. 8.

The Golden Grizzlies women’s volleyball team lost to Northern Kentucky on Sept. 23 at home in three straight sets. 

Despite strong kills by Northern Kentucky, it is without a doubt the Grizzlies still showed their athleticism.

Coming out strong were Libby Gentile and Patti Cesarini, stepping on the gas in crucial moments of the game — especially when it was was tied up at 12-12. They played their roles efficiently, attacking down the stretch when Northern Kentucky seemed to be storming through and racking up their points. Set one ended with a score of 25-23. 

Northern Kentucky came into set two with a fierceness. Their middle blocker, Abby Kanakry, wasn’t letting up, hungry for a win. Northern Kentucky defeated the Grizzlies in this set by 10, with a score of 25-15.

By the third set, OU started to apply some pressure, making things challenging for the Norse. This set was impressive — a battle between the two teams.

The Grizzlies were not going to go down without a fight. It was neck and neck, and in the last few possessions, Northern Kentucky came out ahead, calling the game with a set score of 25-22. 

Despite the 3-0 loss, there were some things that head coach Krista Rice liked down the stretch from her squad. 

“I thought that in both sets, one and three, we had a couple of opportunities to just sort of surge ahead,” Rice said. “A couple things that stood out to me: our service pressure amped up in those moments. And I think two, we were just able to execute what our game plan was.”

“We had talked about getting the ball off of their libero — sort of making their setters play more balls — and when you saw us close those sets a little bit closer together, we were having good execution of that,” Rice said. “We more so wanted to see that we had consistency in our plays.”

“You saw a sort of a rollercoaster of emotions, a rollercoaster of our play and execution,” Rice continued. “I think if we can steady out and execute what we want from play to play a little bit more regularly, we will start to see more success.”

Rice’s team is really bought into what they’re trying to do. The style of volleyball that the team is playing and the culture that they’re trying to build are evident.

“It’s just a matter of the small details and really honing in on those time after time, not allowing it to slip away,” she said. 

The Grizzlies are making great strides to bring home a win. They head down to Ohio on Sept. 27 to face Youngstown State University.