MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team defeated Norfolk State 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-11) and Canisius 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-20) in its first two games of the Mountaineer Invitational on Friday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (5-0) are off to their best start since 1987.
“We were playing teams around this same level of RPI last year and we were struggling with them. I think it was because of youth and inexperience,” says coach Jill Kramer. “We’re still young, but now they’ve got the experience part of it. It’s about knowing what to expect.”
After trailing 9-7 in the first set against Canisius, the Mountaineers settled in and ended the set on a 18-2 run, taking the set 25-11. Sophomore Caleah Wells
stood strong in the middle recording three blocks for the set.
Freshman Jordan Anderson
was dominant in the second and third sets against the Golden Griffins (0-6), totaling 15 kills and 11 digs for the match – her fourth double-double in her first five games as a Mountaineer.
“She is as steady as they come and doesn’t get rattled. It’s just her personality,” Kramer says. “The group has a lot of trust in her and she has fit right in.”
Sophomore setter Brittany Sample
tallied 39 assists against Canisius in three sets, while consistently setting up Anderson on the outside.
The Mountaineers shrugged off a slow start in the first two sets against Norfolk State in the first match of the day, and were dominant in the third set, holding the Spartans (1-4) to a .000 hitting percentage.
“As a team, we've definitely come a long way from last season,” says sophomore outside hitter Nikki Attea
, who chipped in nine kills and two blocks against Norfolk State. “But there are always things we could be improving, and I think we all have the proper mindset to do that.”
West Virginia didn’t lose a set Friday, and have won 15 sets and lost just one through the first five matches.
“The girls knew what this preseason needed to be for our program and they’ve got a goal,” Kramer says. “They know why we put the schedule together the way we did. They’ve been 100 percent committed to that since we walked off the floor against TCU in the final game last season.”
WVU will return to action with its third game of the Mountaineer Invitational tomorrow at noon at the WVU Coliseum against Fordham, and will face Navy at 6:30 p.m. in the final game of the Mountaineer Invitational.