Jaspers Volleyball Falls to Niagara in a Close 4-Set Game

WVB: Manhattan 1, Niagara 3

by Elizabeth Griffiths, Staff Writer

This Saturday, September 28, Jaspers fell to the Purple Eagle, Niagara, in a 3-1 match, making them 2-11 in the season so far. Led by coach, Lora Egbert, the Jaspers in no way did they go down without a fight, as the scores were relatively close all four sets (25-18, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17).

Manhattan junior Middle, Erin Hoener, earned 2 solo blocks, giving her 44 career blocks, placing herself in the volleyball programs top 10 all-time list. Freshmen, Julianna McKee, played her first college game earning 38 assists for the jaspers.

Sophomore, Julia Menocal, led the team with 12 kills, followed by sophomore, Vivian Donovan, with 9 kills. Hoener and freshmen, Lizzi Brown, both contributed 8 kills. Nashally Eleutiza, junior, totaled a team high of 17 digs, followed by Katelynn Riner who added 13.

Jaspers started off the first set with a misserve, that was quickly atoned for by a sideout for the jaspers. The first of many long volleys started off strong for the jaspers, ending with a kill by Menocal. Another intense volley led by freshman setter, Mckee, to hustle into the bleachers for an astounding save. After the Jaspers call their first time out of the game, they won the ball back with a block by, Miller. Jasper’s had 3 “slideouts” (pass, set, kill from a serve), led by outside hitter, Donovan. Donovan’s game point ace, while a big confidence boost, was not enough to pull the jaspers forward for the first set.

The second set was kicked off with a perfect dig from libero, Eleutiza, ending the point with a block from Hoener. An effective pass from Eleutiza, followed by a quick set by Mckee, allowed for Menocal to add another kill for the Jaspers, followed by a block in the next point. After one of the longest volleys of the game, Donovan came in with a tip over Niagara’s block to negate the point. After another long volley, and many diving saves by Eleutiza, Hoener executed a block that led to Niagara calling for a timeout. Manhattan was leading 21-15, after a tip by Brown giving us back the ball. It was now a close race to 25, but Niagara’s out-of-bounds ball concluded the longest set of the match, tying up the score 1-1.

It was a rocky start in the third set, starting off down, 0-5. After a timeout, another block by Hoener gave the Jaspers the energy boost needed. After another long and rigorous volley, freshmen Brown executed a pancake save eventually leading to a kill by Donovan. Libero, Eleutiza, and Setter, McKee, were in perfect sync for the majority of the set, allowing the hitters to be able to do more with their swing. Menocal distincted herself with a kill heard by the whole gymnasium, which was made possible by Elutiza’s faultless dig. Donovan contributed one ace and one block during the third set, though again, was still not enough to pull the Jaspers through for this set.

The final set was the closest fight, especially at the beginning, as the Jaspers and Purple Eagles went point for point. Jaspers held the lead for the majority of the beginning, but could not grab on tight enough. Hoener started off the set with a kill from the overpass handed to her by Niagara. The Jaspers did a good job at setting up the block, though seemed to struggle with coverage as the set continued. Miller distincted herself this set, executing kills right down to the 10-foot-line. The last set was filled with volleys that both teams fought to stay alive, many ending with Donovan’s kills. Setter, Mckee, did a fantastic job at mixing up her sets to a variety of hitters, keeping Niagara in the dark of the Jaspers’ next move.

Overall, Jaspers contested with grace against the purple eagles, though it was not enough to pull out a win. Our volleyball girls kept consistent good energy on the court, even when they were down, and consistently had each other back, showcasing what it means to be “a Jasper.”