Volleyball 1-3 at OWU Tourney
Despite finishing the 2006 season with a 5-23 record, there were plenty of positive signs for the Oberlin volleyball team to take coming into this year. Not only did the Yeowomen win two more games than they did the previous year, which shows the program’s continued improvement, but Oberlin is keeping five players, including two-time conference honorable mention honoree and co-captain, Deysi Villarreal.
The Yeowomen have a new team make-up. Besides three graduating seniors, another five members are not returning. Head Coach Carey Cavanaugh has brought in four quality first-years to add youth to an already balanced team of two seniors, Kate Cook and Villarreal, junior Amanda VanAllen and two sophomores, co-captain Tammela Platt and Rita Kaplon.
The new additions to the squad are Amanda Wysk, Melissa DeLombaert, Anna Frackman and Maggie Jacobsen.
Villarreal has flourished at the setting position. She led the team last season in kills, assists, service aces and block assists. Kaplon and Platt also had strong seasons, with Kaplon finishing second in assists and kills and Platt leading the team in digs. Platt’s spectacular defensive play and tireless work ethic earned her co-captain honors.
The Yeowomen started their season on August 31 at the Ohio Wesleyan University Tournament.
The women kicked off the 2007 campaign against Wilmington College, losing three sets to one. After winning the first set 30-18, the Yeowomen kept it close, going 23-30, 19-30 and 27-30. Wysk had a strong debut, recording four of the team’s 14 service aces.
In the second game of the day Oberlin was narrowly defeated by Grove City 2-3. Although the team lost in the first two sets 27-30 and 26-30, the Yeowomen rallied and won the next two sets 30-25 and 31-29. Unfortunately Oberlin could not squeeze out the comeback, as it lost 9-15 in the tiebreaker.
First-year Jacobson had 4.5 blocks against Grove City, while Platt showed her defensive prowess, racking up 30 digs.
The Yeowomen flexed their defensive muscle in the third game of the tournament, on Saturday Sept. 1 against LaRoche College. Oberlin breezed past LaRoche, winning 30-22, 30-9 and 30-19. Villarreal finished the game with an impressive .474 hitting percentage.
The tournament ended on a sour note, with Oberlin losing to Lake Erie College, a team that the Yeowomen defeated three times last season, 1-3. Oberlin was never blown out though, keeping pressure on its opponents. Oberlin won the first set 30-22 but then lost 30-32, 25-30 and 28-30. Oberlin’s strong performances did not go unnoticed, with Villarreal and Wysk making the all-tournament team. Oberlin played four games in two days, going 1-3 during the weekend.
The Yeowomen do not play again until Sept. 12, when they begin league play against Allegheny College. After going 0-16 in conference last year, Oberlin will be hungry to show that it is a program on the rise.