The DePauw women’s volleyball team lost to Earlham in three sets (17-25, 17-25, 18-25) on Tuesday, Sept. 21 as Earlham’s quick offense caught the Tigers’ defense off guard.
The Tigers (7-4) were able to contend with the Earlham Quakers (8-4) until the Quakers ended each set with a run.
The Tigers began the match with an immediate side out off of a big kill from first-year setter Olivia Karwin. For the duration of the set, DePauw managed to stay within four points of the Earlham Quakers until first-year outside hitter Katie Gansle tied the game at 16 all from the serving line. However, Earlham managed to pull away with their speedy offensive plays, ending the set 25-17 after a Tiger hitting error.
“We haven’t seen a lot of fast offense yet in our first few games,” senior setter Grace Filbrun said of the loss. “So adjusting to fast offense took us a while and our block couldn’t get there and if our block couldn’t get there our defense struggled a little bit.” Filbrun posted 10 assists for the night.
Senior right side hitter Sarah Herman said, “The [Earlham] setter ran a really good reverse flow which means that when the ball is pushing her back she sets forward and when she’s pushed forward she sets back and so those things we need to pick up on faster so that we can identify which hitters are going to get set first and our blocking needs to get quicker reading that.”
The Tigers got a quick start to set two with an ace from Filbrun. They were able to stay within two points of the Quakers for the majority of the set. After a time out, Herman floored a big kill to make the score 13-16. However, the momentum did not last long as back-to-back Tiger errors closed the set at 17-25.
Though the Tigers had some big plays in the third set, they were unable to close the gap to less than five points. Three consecutive kills by Jess Levy and Lauren Ridgeway pulled the DePauw Tigers to 9-15, but the Tiger blockers could not ward off a big swing from Earlham to end the match 18-25.
DePauw landed only 25 kills throughout the match (.074) compared to Earlham’s whopping 53, (.288).
Levy and Karwin had six kills each for the match. Karwin also led the defense with eleven digs. Gansle, Ridgeway, and Ashley Haas posted two block assists apiece.
Looking ahead, Filbrun said that she thinks the team can learn to adapt to a different offensive style, saying, “I think all around we’ll adjust to that in the future and it’s good that we saw that fast offense going into conference.”
The Tigers begin North Coast Athletic Conference play at home on Saturday, September 25 against Hiram College and Sunday, September 26 against Allegheny College at 1:00 p.m. both days.