Last week the Hopkins volleyball team suffered a tough loss to Franklin & Marshall College, losing 1-3 (21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 24-26). The loss broke the Blue Jays team streak of 17 consecutive regular season conference victories. With the unexpected and disappointing loss, Hopkins knew they needed to rebound Saturday in their return to Goldfarb Gym.
Freshman Gabi Rothman commented on the loss, remarking, “Instead of scaring us away this loss has motivated us to dominate every other to team to prove ourselves.”
First up for Hopkins on Saturday were the Ursinus College Bears (6-11, 2-4). The Blue Jays easily cruised by the Bears winning straight sets (25-13, 25-19, 25-14). Hopkins posted a .356 hitting percentage in the effort. Jasmine Warmington, the Centennial Conference’s leading hitter, had nine kills (.571) while Amelia Thomas recorded a match-high 10 digs. Kristin Hanratty totaled 10 kills for the Bears while teammate Gina Powers distributed 17 assists. Hopkins improved to 20-0 for the series record.
In the second match of the doubleheader, Hopkins took on the Hood College Blazers (6-11). The Blazers were held to a meager 28 total points in the sweep, as Hopkins won (25-11, 25-14, 25-3). The Blue Jays continued to 9-0 for the series record. Replicating this killer instinct will be crucial as the Blue Jays continue their run through the conference schedule. In the dominant performance the Blue Jays had a commendable season-high .475 hitting percentage as Megan Cohan recorded 12 kills and Mariel Metalios dished out 26 assists. Sophomore Megan Schwarz also led the team with seven service aces.
Hopkins not only had to be pleased about their two victories, but they also witnessed rival Franklin & Marshall suffer a loss to Haverford College. The loss not only washed away the Diplomats perfect conference record, but put Hopkins, Haverford, and Franklin & Marshall tied for first place in conference. The remainder of the conference schedule is certain to grow with intensity as the season continues and might come down to the final day of action.
On Wednesday, Hopkins (20-2, 4-1) traveled to Salisbury, Md., to take on Salisbury University’s Sea Gulls. Rothman stated that the focus is on “competiveness and being aggressive, regardless of what the other team is doing on the other side of the court. We’re taking care of our side and that’s all we can do.” The Sea Gulls held the series record 12-18 with their last matchup coming in 2009. Salisbury recently swept Franklin & Marshall and entered the match with a 21-1 record and No. 18 national ranking. Their only loss had come against Christopher Newport University, the current No. 5 team in the nation. Prior to the match against the Blue Jays held an 0-7 all-time record against nationally ranked teams. In the match Hopkins fell in straight sets, 3-0.
This weekend Hopkins travels to Haverford, PA for a doubleheader against the host school Haverford before taking on York. The doubleheaders are no easy task. Rothman stated “It’s tough to keep the energy up for two games in a row, nonetheless two weekends in a row. We mostly focus on our intensity throughout the day and staying aggressive.” The matchup against Haverford serves to be one of the Blue Jays’ more important matches of the year. A victory would help to distance the two schools atop the Centennial Conference standings. The Blue Jays will be sure to keep an eye on Keri Godbe and Meg O’Day, two freshmen who lead the Fords in kills per set. Haverford (13-5, 4-1) enters the game having split a doubleheader this past Saturday, beating Franklin & Marshall and suffering a loss against Richard-Stockton College. Hopkins owns the series record 18-10, having last swept the Fords (3-0) in the 2011 season.
Despite a disappointing conference loss, the Blue Jays are still on track towards accomplishing their goal of hosting the conference tournament.