By Jalyn Bolyard, Online Editor
Tomorrow night, Sept. 7, the West Liberty Hilltopper volleyball team will be hosting the MEC/PSAC Crossover event. The Hilltoppers will be heading into the tournament sporting a six-win streak, with an overall 7-1 record. All games will be hosted in the Academic Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC).
On Friday, Sept. 7, the team will first face Shippensburg University (overall 6-2) at 1 p.m. and then University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (overall 4-2) at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Hilltoppers will face Clarion University (overall 6-2) at 10 a.m. and then Slippery Rock University (overall 2-2) at 4 p.m. Overall season records are as of Sept. 2.
The Hilltoppers have had a strong start to the season, starting with the Lock Haven Tri-Match at Lock Haven University on Aug. 25. They split the season opener there, winning against the Lock Haven host team and losing to Davis & Elkins College.
That loss is their first and so far only of the season, coming after five sets, with the Hilltoppers taking the first and fourth set but the Davis & Elkins Senators finishing the match with winning the fifth set, 15-9.
During the tournament, there are some key Hilltoppers to keep an eye on. First player to look out for is senior Raimey Benson. On Saturday, Sept. 1, Benson landed her 1,000 career kill. So far, Benson has 90 kills and 31 digs for the season as of Sept. 2.
A pair to watch for is senior twins Stephanie and Amanda Leonard. Stephanie sports 31 blocks, 46 kills, and 107 total attack attempts for the year so far. Amanda has 137 assists and 45 digs for the season as of Sept. 2.
On the defensive side, a Hilltopper to watch out for this season is junior Kailee Cunningham, who has 159 digs this season.
This year’s team includes freshmen Aubree Story, MacKenzie Daub and Abbi Gillson, sophomores Madison Clayton, Renee Lemke, Megan Stanton and Kendall Souder, juniors Mackenzie Sims, Olivia Baumhoer, Cunnginham, Jo Lyn Jurek, Morgan Farley and Caitlin Clarke, and seniors Amanda Leonard, Stephanie Leonard, Hannah Guidish and Benson.
The Hilltoppers are having a strong start to their 2018 season. If you’re on campus this weekend, make sure to check out the MEC/PSAC Crossover event this Friday and Saturday in the ASRC.
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com