BY ERIN MADDEN
Both teams overall played much better volleyball the second time around even though the results were similar.
“We played well. Muskingum played better, and Muskingum is the better team right now,” head coach Kelly Hermann said. “We played better than we did over the weekend, and that’s the goal. We’re headed in the right direction.”
The Lady Barons’ offense improved tremendously, with good offensive production from junior outside hitter, Dani Link, and sophomore middle hitter, Ana Tolkach, with seven kills each. Sophomore middle hitter, Ellie Waldsmith, also had a good night with four kills to keep the Lady Barons in a close second set.
“Dani played really well today,” Hermann said. “Her serve-receive was fabulous tonight, great passing in serve-receive. She played particularly well.”
Hermann remarked on the strong performance of all her outside hitters, especially on defense. Freshman outsider hitter/defensive specialist, Faith Laidley, had a good overall match with two kills and seven digs. Laidley came in during the second set to provide the defense that the Lady Barons needed to stay close with Muskingum.
“Faith came in and played absolutely tremendous defense,” Hermann said. “One of the things that surprised us in that third game especially was Faith blocking. She’s a little girl. She really was blocking some balls.”
The freshmen players proved to be an important part in the Lady Baron’s game plan, with freshman outside hitter, Ave Palguta, earning her first start of the season. Palguta earned the start by having the highest hitting percentage on the team coming into the match.
“She is the most efficient hitter right now,” Hermann said about her offense. “We have to have her on the court to hit.”
The Lady Barons will play six straight matches on the road before returning home for Homecoming weekend on October 4 against Medaille College.