Rutgers falls twice over weekend on road
Another pair of matches and another pair of straight set losses haunted the Rutgers volleyball team this past weekend as the team travelled to College Park, Maryland and Columbus, Ohio to face off against Maryland and Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights (5-13, 0-6) now sit at seven consecutive losses, having lost to six Big Ten opponents in straight sets.
Although Rutgers did not outplay Maryland on Friday, the Knights managed to pull together small wins within the game, which was highlighted by a season-high eight team blocks and 37 total digs in Big Ten play.
Four blocks each and individual Big Ten highs for Rutgers were achieved by sophomore middle blocker Stasa Miljevic and freshman opposite hitter Kamila Cieslik. Also contributing 11 digs was Cieslik, tying an individual Big Ten high for this season.
Leading the Knights’ offense was junior outside hitter Sahbria McLetchie with seven kills, while sophomore middle blocker Jasmine Stackhouse trailing just behind McLetchie, recording five kills. Additionally, both McLetchie and Stackhouse logged two blocks each to add to the excitement at the net.
At the game against Ohio State, Rutgers might have lost easily in the first two sets 25-15 and 25-12, but not without a fight as the Knights battled throughout the final set to ultimately lose 26-24.
The third set saw Rutgers’ highest Big Ten run this season with kills from McLetchie, Miljevic and freshman outside hitter Yana Kamshilina to put a 9-1 stint up to one point away from the Buckeyes at 22-21.
With Ohio State’s attack errors and head coach CJ Werneke’s second challenge of the night, the Knights tied the score 24-24 before the Buckeyes took control of the final 2 points for the win.
Just like the match against Maryland, Rutgers recorded another Big Ten high this season with a team-high five service aces led by Miljevic’s two aces, followed by McLetchie, Cieslik and Sharkey all nabbing one ace apiece.
Switching spots this time around was Stackhouse to lead the Knights offensively with six kills and three blocks. McLetchie and Cieslik were close behind with five kills each, while Cieslik also recorded three blocks.
Hidden within the Ohio State match, sophomore setter Megan Sharkey reached a historic feat of cracking through 1,000 career assists to total 1,006. To get on Rutgers’ all-time leaderboard, Sharkey sits only 78 assists away from No. 10 Jennifer DelGais’ 1,082 with No. 9 Nicole Bayer’s 1,084 just above it.
The Knights will stay home this weekend as yet another pair of matches awaits them at the College Avenue Gymnasium. They will go head to head against Michigan on Friday and Michigan State on Saturday.
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