(Image Courtesy of Corsairs Volley Ball Team)
Volunteer Writer: Billy Mankavech
September 15th, 2023, was a memorable night for UMass Dartmouth’s Women’s Volleyball Team, who played a sensational game after welcoming The Roger Williams University Hawks to campus for a big match-up.
In a dazzling display from the team, they celebrated Senior Night with a commanding win over Roger Williams University.
The effort was led by the seniors who were the real MVPs on their big night: Maggie Sullivan, middle hitter; Gabriella Monico, opposite; Annika Laudemann, defensive specialist; and lastly, Devon Laing, outside hitter. These ladies were not just playing a game; they orchestrated a symphony of spikes, blocks, and digs that engaged the audience.
Folks, believe it or not, it was nothing short of spectacular for The Corsairs, dominating in all three sets, bringing out the brooms for a triumphant 3-0 sweep. (25-14, 25-17, 25-18).
But the festivities didn’t just happen on the court; they started before the game began.
The senior’s families came on the court with congratulations and wishes of luck in a heart-warming pre-game ceremony. The ladies employed the crowd’s good spirits to their advantage and showed The Hawks what “home-court advantage” really means.
The seniors were too much of a force to be reckoned with throughout the game.
It all started with the first set of the game, as The Hawks were not ready for what they were about to face. The stakes were low for Laing as she recorded the first score for The Corsairs with a kill, six on the night, and consistently delivered powerful hits.
The Corsairs went on a dominating 9-point run and were too hot to handle, making the score 18-5. Part of this can be thanks to Sullivan, who finished with five blocks and five kills, like a brick wall at the net, not letting anything past.
The Corsairs cruised in the second set easily thanks to Monico, a force to be reckoned with three kills on the night.
The third set started with adversity as the team fell into a 4-0 hole early but quickly rallied back. In part thanks to defensive specialist Emily Pogorelec, who willed the defense to make stops, and outside hitter Kate Wade, who had a team-high twelve kills and secured the third set and the sweep.
The weekend started on a good note for The Corsairs and fed off the energy of their senior night victory.
The following Saturday, the team played two more games at home against Mount Holyoke and Babson College. Again, there was a sweep as they defeated Mount Holyoke 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-22). However, they could not get past Babson College after taking them to the final set 3-2 (25-15, 19-25, 29-27, 15-25, 12-15).
Although it was the weekend for the seniors, you cannot talk about the team’s weekend without mentioning two absolute dogs. Standout’s junior outside hitter Kate Wade and sophomore defensive specialist Emily Pogorelec both won The Little East Conference’s Player of the Week.
At the end of the weekend, The Corsairs went 2-1 to reach 5-5 overall for the season.
The ladies have their eyes set on big things for the rest of the season. Check out the schedule for the remaining games here if you want to keep up the support, because they are not done yet.
In closing, Senior Night will be remembered thanks to the support from the fans and community.
As the UMass Dartmouth Women’s Volleyball Team sets up for more victories, you can check the schedule to keep cheering them on and show support.