WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University women's volleyball team played inspired here Friday afternoon in the Field House as the Bison hosted a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) crossover day with three other conference foes on homecoming weekend.
Gallaudet (11-21, 7-3 NEAC) was able to split its two matches between Cazenovia College and first-place Morrisville State College.
The Bison swept the Wildcats from Cazenovia; 25-14, 25-8, 25-15. GU served up 13 aces and recorded 42 kills against the Wildcats. Junior Karita Lewis (Frederick, Md.) led the way with 13 kills, eight digs and three aces. Freshman Sunita Schmidjorg (Austin, Texas) added eight kills, five digs and three aces. Sophomore Mia Upchurch (Austin, Texas) had a match best 12 digs while freshman Demi Bingham (Jefferson, Md.) passed out 33 assists.
GU turned around to face Morrisville St. (18-6, 10-0 NEAC), who entered the match sitting on top of the NEAC standings and needed one more win to clinch the regular-season title. The Bison tried to spoil the Mustangs' goal as the buff and blue took the first set, 25-16. Gallaudet was in position to take a 2-0 lead as it led 22-20 before the Mustangs rallied to score five of the next six points. The two teams played a close third set as the lead exchanged hands multiple times. The Bison held a 14-13 lead before the Mustangs took over down the stretch. GU kept the set within a point, 19-18, before Morrisville St. closed things out with six consecutive points. The fourth and final set was another close battle as the lead remained within a point or two. GU tied the set several times, the last one came at 17 all, but couldn't regain control as the Mustangs won, 25-21. Morrisville will be the top-seed in the upcoming NEAC tournament.
Lewis led GU with a double-double (18 kills, 15 digs) while Schmidjorg tallied eight kills. Redshirt junior Brynn Schmidt (Bozeman, Mont.) recorded six kills and four blocks (one solo). Bingham passed out 32 assists and Upchurch made 15 digs.
Morrisville St. was led by Megyan Merrill's double-double with 19 kills and 12 digs while Hannah Taylor passed out 37 assists.
On Court 2 earlier in the day, Morrisville St. defeated Lancaster Bible College in straight sets; 25-15, 25-9, 25-13. The Chargers rebounded in their second match and swept Cazenovia (3-21, 1-9 NEAC) in straight sets; 25-10, 25-14, 25-17.
- Gallaudet had six aces against the Mustangs
- The Bison have had six or more blocks in seven matches this season, GU had six blocks against MSC
- Gallaudet is 3-for-10 in four-set matches this year
- GU finished the regular-season home schedule with a 3-11 mark
In between the second and third sets of the second match, Gallaudet paid tribute to its lone senior - Brynn Schmidt. Head Coach Lynn Ray Boren talked about Brynn's accomplishments at GU and presented here with several senior gifts. Schmidt, a three-time NEAC Scholar-Athlete and current co-captain, has played in 104 matches and has tallied 306 kills, 124 digs, 120 blocks (18 solo), 22 aces and 12 assists in 334 sets played. Schmidt only saw action in eight matches her freshman season (2016-17) as she received a medical redshirt.
Gallaudet has two regular-season road matches left. The Bison will travel to Goucher College (11-10) on Wednesday, Oct. 30, for a 7 p.m. match.