What a difference a week makes.
After the Terrier Invitational on Sept. 6, the Manhattan volleyball team was flying high with a record of 6-1.
Fast-forward one week, and three defeats have been added to the loss column.
The Jaspers (6-4), playing against the toughest competition they’ve seen all season long, dropped all three matches at the Delaware Invitational.
Over the span of the three games, the Jaspers were out-blocked 41-20.
Head coach Mark Jones foresaw blocking as a weakness when on Aug. 31, right after the team won the La Salle Invitational to start the season off rolling at 3-0, he signaled blocking as the team’s Achilles heel.
“I think our blocking is something that we need to work on,” Jones said.
Blocking was not an issue in the team’s first match of the tournament however, as the Jaspers out blocked the hosts, the Delaware Blue Hens, 12-10.
However, despite winning the block battle, Manhattan lost the battle that really counted: the actual match.
It seemed as if the hosts were in for a surprise after Manhattan won the first set 25-16, but the Blue Hens recovered and won three consecutive sets (25-17, 25-15, 25-20) to win the match.
In its second match – easily the most hard-fought of the season – Manhattan lost a heart breaker to the George Mason Patriots. Despite being out blocked 23-2, Manhattan was able to hang in the match for five sets.
Like the first game, Manhattan comfortably won the first set, this time 25-13.
The Patriots won the second set 25-23 and the third set 26-24 to take a 2-1 match lead.
The Jaspers staved off elimination by winning the fourth set handedly, 25-15.
However, the Jaspers were put away in the fifth and final set after George Mason defeated them 19-17.
Going into the final match of the tournament, the Jaspers tried to rescue at least one victory from their road trip, but those efforts were derailed by the Princeton Tigers who won the match in four sets.
The entire contest was played closely, but the Tigers, who hit .223 in comparison to the Jasper’s .144 percentage, proved too much to handle.
The Jaspers lost the first two sets 21-25 and 26-28 respectively, but then retaliated in the third set with a 25-23 win.
In the fourth set, the Tigers hit lights out with a .293 percentage and won 25-16. The set victory also gave the Tigers a 3-1 match win.
Malia McGuiness led the way for the Jaspers over the three matches with 44 kills and a double-double in each match.
Sydney Volovski placed second on the team with 29 kills, while Allie Yamashiro also contributed significantly with a team-high 70 digs.