STEUBENVILLE – Saturday brought two more matches with 3-0 victories for the Franciscan University of Steubenville Lady Barons Volleyball team at Chatham University's tri-match. The Lady Barons bested Chatham University's Lady Cougars in all three games: 25-13, 25-19, and 25- 9, and repeated the victory versus the La Roche College Redhawks: 25- 15, 25- 16, 25-14.
In the first match against Chatham, the Lady Baron Defense came out strong due to a great coherence among the players. Freshman middle blocker Sydney Disselkamp ended the match with an impressive seven kills and two blocks while Grace and Mary Burnham teamed up as setters – Grace notably adding 15 set assists.
Anna Cain also left her mark with a 13-point serving streak, leaving head volleyball coach Kelley Herrmann very proud of her performance. "There is pressure every time you step up to serve because there is always a point on the line," noted Herrmann. "Anna gave pace to her serves and placed them, challenging their serve return team."
The Lady Barons switched their tactic used in years past of relying on one big hitter and dominated with full-court force against La Roche. "We have talent spread out on the court, so when you have girls who can pass and hit well, the setter not only is given a great ball, but also has lots of options," said Herrmann.
Meg Kay led with 11 kills, followed by Anna Cain with eight and Sydney Disselkamp added five. Burnham sisters Grace and Mary contributed nine and eight, respectively. Nichole Henson continued in her reliable strength with seven digs.
Coach Herrmann was specifically thankful for Henson's aggressive defense: "Nicole saved us with her great defensive positioning and timing – she is a core part of our game." Herrmann also expressed her appreciation for Grace Burnham, who, despite having to switch out her torn contact lenses for glasses, had four kills each game. Herrmann attributed this feat to Grace Burnham's composure and instinct to throw off the defense with a surprise dump or set over the net.
The Franciscan University Lady Baron Volleyball team travels to Bethany College this Wednesday, September 8. Game time versus the Bethany Bison begins at 7 p.m.