The Mercer Bears volleyball team kicked off their 2021-2022 season Aug. 27 and just wrapped up their latest games Saturday. The Bears currently have an even record of 3-3 so far in the regular season. Here’s a look at how those games unfolded.
Mercer v. Stetson
The Bears faced the Stetson University Hatters to open the season and swept the Hatters in three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 26-24. Middle hitter Rayanne De Olivera led the Bears in kills with 12 throughout the match. Outside hitters Taylor Lynch and Annie Karle delivered 8 kills each thanks to the 34 combined assists from setters Agnieska Paskevic and Emma Jose. Mercer’s libero, Megan Smith, ran the back row with 22 digs for the afternoon.
Mercer v. New Hampshire
Later that night, the Bears took on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats and won 3-1. The set scores were 25-21, 22-25, 25-22 and 26-24. In the first set, Lynch came through for the Bears again with 9 kills and had a hitting
percentage of .692. Mercer had an impressive .333 hitting percentage in the
first set alone. Lynch went on to earn 22 kills for the night. Outside hitter Brittany Major and Karle also contributed to the team win with a combined 18
kills throughout the match. Defensively, Smith led with 20 digs from the back
row while Karle added 9 digs of her own.
Mercer v. Murray State
Mercer took on the Murray State University Racers Aug 28. and won a competitive 3-2 match. The Bears split the first two sets by scores of 25-22 and 17-25 and continued to alternate wins with the Racers in the remaining three sets. The last three sets ended at 27-25, 19-25 and finally 15-12. It was the Bear’s toughest competition yet and the team prevailed. Major played a strong offensive game with 6 kills in just the first set, 12 kills for the afternoon and a hitting percentage of .750. Lynch played strong as well with 13 kills for the day. The Bears would end the weekend with an unblemished 3-0 record to start off their regular season.
Mercer v. Northeastern
The Bears then traveled to Denver Friday to play in a weekend tournament beginning with a matchup against Northeastern University Huskies. The Bears lost their first match of the season 1-3 by set scores of 25-21, 18-25, 23-25 and 21-25. Major and De Olivera led in kills with 11 each while Karle contributed with 10 kills. Wager, Lynch and Karle performed well at the net with a combined 6 blocks throughout the four sets. Setter and Paskevic had 37 assists and Smith led the back row with 22 digs.
Mercer v. Northern Colorado
Later that night the Bears took on the University of Northeastern Colorado Bears and lost again, this time in three sets: 20-25, 11-25 and 17-25. Lynch, Major and Morgan had a combined 17 kills and had 4 combined blocks. Paskevic had 17 assists and an ace. Even with the stats, the Bears fell short of a win and went on to face Denver on Saturday, September 4.
Mercer v. Denver
The Bears fell to the University of Denver Pioneers in 3 sets by scores of 13-25, 18-25 and 15-25. Lynch, De Olivera and Karle had a combined 17 kills in the loss. Major, De Olivera and Wagers continued to deliver at the net, garnering 8 total blocks for the night. Smith contributed defensively with 6 digs and Paskevic had 19 assists for the night.
The Bears will travel to Elon, North Carolina on Sept. 11 where they take on North Carolina A&T and Elon University.