By Jacob Rzempoluch, Sports Editor
On Sept. 22, the Saint Vincent women’s volleyball team defeated the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets in an electric match. The close battle featured many rallies and a tight second and third set, but was ultimately a successful showing for the Lady Bearcats. “[Waynesburg] are a very scrappy team… but I thought that we answered well to it,” remarked Carly Augustine, a senior business major. “It’s just progress every day that we’re making.”
Augustine led SVC in assists (16) in the match while junior Luciana Polk led the team in digs (28) and kills (10), the latter being a high mark for both teams. Polk would continue the momentum from her Lucky B’s Player of the Game performance in this match, leading the Bearcats with 34 kills (tied with sophomore Kaelyn Staples) and 71 digs in a three-game stretch that also included a win against Washington & Jefferson and a loss against Chatham. She would also be recognized as Bearcat of the Week, an honor earned by senior Lindsey Kocjancic earlier in the season. This honor is awarded to the top performing female athlete across all sports at Saint Vincent.
Sophomore libero Stacie Ramos would later be recognized as President’s Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Ramos recorded 24 digs against the Yellow Jackets and has averaged 4.9 digs a set this season, good for seventh in the conference. With several different athletes being recognized for outstanding play, the Lady Bearcats have a very tough and competitive squad.
“No matter who Coach [Sue] Hozak puts out on the court, they play hard. We have a lot of cohesiveness… we have a great team this year,” explains Augustine. The strong team spirit is visible at home games, with a bench that constantly cheers for their teammates and always seems ready for when they’re called in for a substitution. A large, loud student section also helps feed into the energy of the match, creating an extremely exciting environment for a Thursday night on campus.
Hozak and Augustine both identified the PAC championship as a major goal for the season, with conference games that began on Oct. 1 playing a major role in qualifying for and succeeding in the tournament. Although Saint Vincent has played several games against conference opponents, none of these games have counted towards their conference record. Nevertheless, the Bearcats currently have the best record in the PAC, a strong sign for the conference season ahead. The Lady Bearcats will play a few more home games this season, all of which will certainly be worth watching.