In their last 5 matches, the Mercer women’s volleyball team has come up victorious in only two of those competitions. While playing some of their best volleyball to date, some efforts weren’t strong enough to secure those all important conference wins and they now see themselves in a battle to earn a spot in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament against several other teams in the last few weeks of play.
The first match-up for the Bears was a rematch against the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers. Mercer previously defeated ETSU in front of their home crowd, and looked to take the momentum from the previous win into this competition. Unfortunately for the Bears, ETSU came up on the victorious end this time taking the match 3-1.
The Orange and Black lost the first set 19-25, but battled back to win the second set 25-23. The Bears could not muster up enough strength to take the match however, and lost the next two sets (18-25, 18-25).
Leading the way for Mercer was sophomore Caroline Carlton who knocked down 15 kills. Senior Charlayna Braxton put down nine of her own while senior Jenn Katona and freshman Molly Locke each contributed seven apiece.
Senior setter Monica Sanchez was able to dish out 37 assists in the losing effort.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior libero Emily Rochefort contributed 24 digs while senior teammate Jamie Duffy was able to add 18 of her own. Monica Sanchez and Molly Locke aided the team getting seven digs of her own.
After coming up short against ETSU, the Bears looked to rebound against in-state rival Kennesaw State University. The team did just that and won the game in five sets (22-25, 25-18, 25-12, 11-25, 15-8).
Freshman Molly Locke led the team in kills with an impressive number of 16. Sophomore Caroline Carlton was not far off knocking down 15 of her own. Seniors Jamie Duffy, Jenn Katona and Charlayna Braxton also had impressive nights adding 11, 10 and nine kills, respectively.
Senior setter Monica Sanchez had an impressive outing and sent out 51 assists on the day.
Defensively four players reached double digit digs with Jamie Duffy leading the way with 19. Junior libero Emily Rochefort added 16 of her won, while Molly Locke and Monica Sanchez earned 15 and 13 of their own.
With another conference win in the books, the ladies looked to add another tally in the win column against the Spartans of USC Upstate. The Bears came up short and lost the match in three sets (19-25, 19-25, 14-25).
Freshman Molly Locke led the team in kills with eight while senior Jenn Katona was able to knock down seven of her own. Senior Jamie Duffy and sophomore Caroline Carlton also contribute six apiece.
Senior setter Monica Sanchez was able to amass 21 assist in the match, while junior setter Carly Iannarino was able to come in and contribute six of her own.
Junior libero Emily Rochefort added 22 digs in the match while Molly Locke amassed 16 of her own. Senior Jamie Duffy also contributed in the dig category with 11.
In the next match, the Bears saw themselves in a tight competition against the league leaders from Florida Gulf Coast University. The Orange and Black were able to take the match to five sets, but despite a resilient effort, came up on the losing end. The Bears took the first set 26-24 but lost the next two sets (26-28, 25 20). The ladies were able to bounce back in the fourth with a win of 25-18, but ultimately lost the fifth and final set 8-15.
Three players attained double digit kills with freshman Molly Locke pacing the Bears with 21. Senior Jamie Duffy and sophomore Caroline Carlton contributed 13 and 12, respectively.
Senior setter Monica Sanchez was able to obtain 51 assists in the match
Junior libero Emily Rochefort led the team in digs with 21, while Jamie Duffy and Molly Locke contributed 18 and 16, respectively.
After coming up just short against FGCU, the Bears were able to get back to winning ways against Stetson University. The Orange and Black defeated the Hatters in an impressive 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-19) fashion.
Sophomore Caroline Carlton paced the team with 15 kills while freshman Molly Locke was not far behind her knocking down 14.
Senior setter Monica Sanchez dished out 41 helpers in the competition.
Junior libero Emily Rochefort and Molly Locke each were able to add 14 digs in the winning effort.
The next match for the Bears is Oct. 26 vs. the Dolphins of Jacksonville University at 7 p.m. The Bears will also take on the University of North Florida the following day (Oct. 27) at 3 p.m. The game against North Florida will also double as senior night honoring the six seniors on the squad. Charlayna Braxton, Jamie Duffy, Jenn Katona, Madison Petsos, Monica Sanchez and Codi Schepp will all be honored for their service to Mercer University.