BALTIMORE, MD.- The Goucher College Gophers defeated local rival The Notre Dame of Maryland University on Thursday, October 27th in a tight four set match: 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24. The win puts the Gophers at 5-19 overall heading into their final weekend of non-conference action.
The Gophers were led by freshman Sarah Weeden (Monmouth Junction, NJ) with 15 kills and 13 digs, and junior Kelly Budge (Harrington Park, NJ) with 16 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Virginia Estes (Homewood, AL) added another 16 digs, and fellow freshman Olivia Rhodes (St. Charles, MO) dished out 36 assists. "The statistics were pretty even across the board," said Head Coach Kait Kozak. "I think we came out on top as a result of a few smart decisions at vital times in the match."
The Gophers controlled the match at 2-1, and led the Gators 22-18 lead in the fourth set. The Gators put pressure on the Gophers by serving tough and swinging aggressively down the stretch. The momentum shifted back and forth, until the score sat at 24 all. Kozak observed that "our serve receive was key in the final few points of the set as we were able to get Kelly Budge a fast tempo ball and she came up with two big kills to close out the match." "We have been in similar situations a number of times this year," continued Kozak, "and we haven't always succeeded. It was great to see that we remained poised under pressure this time and got the results."
The Gophers will travel to Penn state Abington for the final two matches of the season on Saturday, October 29 when they participate in t a tri-match with Bryn Mawr College.