Spartans Complete 4-0 Weekend at French Memorial Invitational; Best Named to Second Straight All-Tournament Team

The Spartans completed a 4-0 weekend with a pair of wins on Saturday. (photo by Nick Minerd)
The Spartans completed a 4-0 weekend with a pair of wins on Saturday. (photo by Nick Minerd)

CLEVELAND – A pair of Saturday wins completed a 4-0 weekend for the Case Western Reserve University volleyball team at the 2014 Marcia French Memorial Invitational. The Spartans swept Westminster College (Pa.) and Capital University to run their early season record to 6-2.

Junior outside hitter Katie Best (Sewickley, Pa./North Allegheny) was named to the all-tournament team with totals of 27 kills and 31 digs in 12 sets played for the weekend. Best also earned all-tourney status at last weekend's Otterbein Classic.

The annual Marcia French Memorial Invitational was co-hosted for the fourth season in a row by CWRU and Baldwin Wallace University. John Carroll University also went undefeated for the weekend but was a perfect 12-0 in sets to beat CWRU (12-1 in sets) in the tie-breaker.

Against Westminster (2-5), the Spartans won by scores of 25-11, 25-23 and 25-22. The second set was the most tightly contested as the Spartans broke a 23-23 tie via a kill from Best and a ball handling error by the Titans. In the first two sets, CWRU hit .391 and .353, respectively, on its way to a season-best .320 hitting percentage.

Individually, Best and junior right side hitter Danielle Witri (Lakewood, Ohio/Lakewood) led the attack with respective kill totals of 10 and eight. Junior Robyn Marks (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) and sophomore Lauren Gurd (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day) shared the main setting duties with 15 and 13 assists, respectively.  

Against Capital (2-7), the Spartans had to rally in a close first set to win 26-24. Sophomore right side hitter Marian Barton (Custer Park, Ill./Reed-Custer) capped the game in exciting fashion with three consecutive points on kills. The following two sets provided less drama as CWRU won by scores of 25-16 and 25-20.

Junior middle hitter Haley Kauffman (Hartville, Ohio/Lake) and junior outside hitter Carolyn Bogart (New Berlin, Wis./New Berlin Eisenhower) led the charge with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Marks (18 assists) and Gurd (17 assists) once against split the setting duties, while sophomore libero Kristen Mitchell (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) led the defense with 14 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Julie Colaianni (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Joseph Academy) added 11 digs to the defensive effort.

The Spartans now hit the road for their first true away match of the season at No. 8 nationally ranked University of Mount Union on Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. in Alliance.