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Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Lady Monarchs Reign The Weekend in Third Annual Quest for the Crown Tournament

Old Dominion moves to 2-0 on the season
Lady+Monarchs+come+together+after+scoring+a+point+in+their+match+against+VCU.++
Keith Lucas (Courtesy of ODU Athletics)
Lady Monarchs come together after scoring a point in their match against VCU.

 

Preseason rankings and in-state rivalries were put to the test over the weekend at the ODU Volleyball Center, where the Lady Monarchs squared off against both VCU and Norfolk State, who are opponents along the 64 corridor in the Quest for the Crown Tournament. 

The Lady Monarchs gathered new talent for the season in the way of junior Alice Munari and freshman Elisa Maggi, both Italian natives, who made instant impacts by gathering double-digit kills in their first ODU appearances; Munari against VCU and Maggi against NSU. Freshman Bryanna Jones also tallied double-digit kills in both matches, intent on earning the Quest for the Crown MVP distinction.

“Everybody did a nice job, but for the freshmen to step up like that and carry a load that they did, it’s so impressive. Our future is so bright right now,” said head coach Fred Chao when asked about the NSU match. 

The Lady Monarchs first faced off against the Rams on Friday at 6:30 p.m., with a near-capacity crowd in tow. This match served as a season opener for both squads. 

The Monarchs were able to capture the first set by a score of 25-20 thanks to a service error by VCU, which would continue to plague them throughout the evening.  Preseason all-Sun Belt Myah Conway, a right-side hitter, backed up her distinctions as she pounded five kills in the first set alone on her way to a 15-kill night. She led all scorers from both sides that evening. 

The second set that evening was karmic in a way, as the Lady Monarchs lost to the Rams by the same score: 25-20. Miscues by the Lady Monarchs, especially in coverage of the “no man’s land” between blockers and the back row, contributed to the loss of the set. 

Myah Conway strikes the ball in the 3-1 match victory against VCU. (Keith Lucas (Courtesy of ODU Athletics) )

This set loss served as a wake-up call for the Lady Monarchs to pick up the play and fight for the upper hand in the match. The ODU push was successful, and the Lady Monarchs put away the Lady Rams in the third set 25-18 thanks to kills by freshman outside hitter Bryanna Jones and graduate student Olivia de Jesus, who sealed the deal. With this, ODU had the advantage 2-1 and left the Lady Rams reeling. 

In the early and middle stages, the fourth set bore an eerie resemblance to the third set for VCU as they reeled due to the ODU offense and self-inflicted errors. However, the Lady Rams were not out of the contest. They were able to come charging back and tied the set at 24. 

At this point, many fans grew nervous about the potential for a fifth set. However, junior outside hitter Alice Munari emphatically slammed the door shut on any doubts by putting the Lady Rams away for the evening with two picturesque kills, taking the set 26-24 and the match 3-1 in ODU’s favor. 

In Friday night’s match, three Monarchs tallied double-digit kills: Conway (15), Jones (12), and Munari, who had 10 to go with eight digs, showing her double-double potential. Senior setter Teresa Atliano tallied 38 assists to complement freshman libero Kate Kipatrick, who also flirted with a double-double with 19 digs and nine assists. 

“I don’t think you can draw any conclusion based on preseason rankings,” Chao said. “These first few matches in a season, every team is trying to figure things out. We’ll both be very different teams later on this season.”

The second match for ODU pit them against Norfolk on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Lady Monarchs ended up sweeping the Spartans 3-0, but not without a fight.

Members of the ODU Swimming team made their way out to cheer on the Volleyball team in their matchup against VCU. (Keith Lucas (Courtesy of ODU Athletics) )

ODU came out flaming hot in the first set, where their offense was at its peak. Kills from all around allowed the Lady Monarchs to gain an early 12-3 advantage before a media timeout. Following the break in action, the hot streak continued, with the lead swelling to ten at 14-4 and continuing to expand. The first set closed with a score of 25-9 in ODU’s favor. Conway and Jones continued to shine in this set, as they both tallied a handful of kills with the help of Atilano. 

Maggi was also able to start her reign in a Monarch uniform strong, with her first career kill sealing the first set.

With momentum carrying through the first set, the Lady Monarchs seemed to be in store for an easy night, but the Lady Spartans weren’t done yet. ODU found themselves trailing for most of the second set, losing momentum  as play began to lapse. 

Fortunately, the Lady Monarchs were able to tie the contest at 21,forcing an NSU timeout and then going up two, 24-22, to force the remaining Lady Spartan timeout to be exasperated. Out of this timeout, however, NSU managed a late push , and they tied the set at 24. The play went back and forth for a period, with tensions running high until ODU sealed the deal at 29-27 thanks to Jones. 

The third, and final, set of the evening served as a scoring midpoint between the first and second set, with the Lady Monarchs prevailing by a healthy margin of 25-17.. Maggi heightened her dazzling debut by serving  the ace that sealed the set and the match.

The Lady Monarchs continue their home stint by taking on William & Mary on Tuesday, August 29, at 5 p.m. Following this, ODU will spend the majority of September on the road as they head to D.C., Maryland, and West Virginia for various contests. For Sun Belt Conference play, the Lady Monarchs will face off against Marshall in Huntington, West Virginia. 

 

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About the Contributor
Art Neal
Art Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Art Neal serves as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Mace & Crown. He is in his second year at Old Dominion and is currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Art is excited for the opportunity to write sports journalism and further expand his sports fanaticism that he has had since a young age. After Old Dominion, Art hopes to head off to medical school where he is hopeful for the opportunity to incorporates his journalism experiences into his future career. You can reach him at sports@maceandcrown.com.

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