After the Tribe dropped its conference opener last weekend, following three consecutive losses the week before, Head Coach Melissa Shelton gathered the squad for a team meeting.
“We readjusted and refocused on our goal – a CAA Tournament bid,” freshman middle Shaylin O’Connell said.
Over the weekend, with two matches against CAA-foes, James Madison and George Mason, the Tribe knew they had to bounce back.
“We wanted to show the conference that we’re in it to win it,” O’Connell said.
And that’s just what happened, as the College (9-7, 2-1 CAA) ended its losing streak by sweeping a pair of weekend matches.
The College began strong Friday evening at James Madison (6-13, 0-4 CAA), winning the first two sets 25-19 and 25-23, respectively. Then, the Dukes rallied to win a back-and-forth third set, 28-26. In the fourth set, the Tribe led for a majority of the set, but was unable to stave off a late 7-0 Dukes run, dropping the set 25-22.
In the fifth and decisive set, the determined Tribe came out to a 12-2 lead behind service from sophomore hitter Lindsay Kresch and freshman setter Jordyn Moloney. The College was able to cruise to a 15-5 victory after O’Connell notched the final kill, winning the match, 3-2.
Junior hitter Erin Skipper finished with a season high 23 kills for the Tribe, while only recording two errors. Moloney totaled 42 assists and 18 digs for the match and Kresch added 15 kills and nine digs. Senior libero Lindsey Pflugner, registered 26 digs and junior middle Ginny Bray scored a match-high six blocks.
The following night, the College looked to continue its success, this time against George Mason (13-3, 2-2 CAA). The Patriots began the contest taking the first set 25-15, holding the Tribe to a sub-zero attack percentage. Then, the College countered, winning a close second set, 26-24, and powering to an easy third set victory, 25-18, holding the host school to a mere six kills.
The Patriots battled back in the fourth set to win 25-22, setting up a tie-breaking set. In the fifth set, the two squads accounted for seven ties and multiple lead changes, the final one during a 7-3 run that clinched the set and match for the Tribe.
Skipper amassed 23 kills for the second match in a row, while Moloney recorded her second double-double of the weekend, with 13 digs and a career-high 54 assists. Kresch also had a double-double, with 13 kills and 12 digs. Senior hitters Lauren Powell and Bryana Carey accumulated 23 and 19 digs, respectively, and Pflugner added 20 digs in the winning effort.
The College, now tied for second in the CAA, will face Georgia State and UNC-Wilmington this weekend at the Kaplan Arena.