MARIETTA, Ohio – The Marietta Pioneers volleyball team (8-11, 01) fell to the Baldwin Wallace Yellowjackets (23-0, 1-0) in their home conference opener on Thursday Sept. 28. The Pioneers were downed in three with set scores of 14-25, 23-25, and 25-27.
Senior Erica Denallo (Parma, Ohio / Independence) led the Pioneer frontline with a team high 14 kills, followed by senior Darcy Irish (Lagrange, Ohio / Keystone) with 12.
Freshmen Aly Wiseman (London, Ohio / Bishop Ready) and Maddie Nader (Vermillion, Ohio / Vermillion) dished out 23 and 15 assists respectively.
The Pioneer defense was led by senior libero Emily Peters (Elyria, Ohio / Keystone) with 16 digs and freshman Sam Ritenour (Jeffersonville, Ohio / Miami Trace) with a pair of blocks.
Though the team lost, Pioneer head coach Bob Howard felt that it was a good game because the girls competed well.
“[I]n general I thought we played well. There are always things that players and a team can do better, and there are things from this game that we can build on in the coming weeks and beyond. But this match was one of our better performances of the season thus far,” Howard said.
What the game really came down to was who could make less mistakes. The Pioneers and the Yellowjackets were fairly even in all other aspects as the Pioneers had 41 kills, 39 assists, and 52 digs, while the Yellowjackets has 39 kills, 28 assists, and 54 digs. However, the Pioneers had 23 errors while the Yellowjackets only made 15.
“They have some talented players and they don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Howard said of Baldwin Wallace.
Howard felt that there was good energy and even the fans were getting into the game. Moving forward into conference play, Howard hopes his team will learn from this loss.
“What I hope our players take away from this game, and bring to the rest of our games, is the understanding that when they play aggressively, when they play with energy, execute well and stay united, that the game is more fun and we, individually and as a team, are much more effective,” Howard said.
The Pioneers compete against John Carroll University in a conference match on Saturday, Oct. 7 in University Heights at 1 p.m.