Colonials swept by red-hot Raiders; drops fourth in a row

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Photo by Tyler Gallo

Dale Starr meets with his team.

By Michael Deemer, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris (9-13, 2-8 Horizon League) had a rough road trip last week, dropping to Milwaukee, Green Bay, and UIC in straight sets in all three matches. However, on the other end, coming into Tuesday, Wright State (15-6, 7-2) is the hottest team in the conference winning their last six matches without losing a set.

Despite all that, it was a marathon of a first set. An evenly matched first set was an understatement as the largest lead was 3 by the RMU 3 separate times. The Colonials also had four opportunities on the setpoint to snap their set losing streak but failed on each opportunity. The Raiders took advantage, winning the set 30-28.

“We were playing hard. We played with great energy. We were still looking for that one play, we were very close. Wright State is a very good team,” head coach Dale Starr said. “This is a team that made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and brought back everybody. So, for us to get that kind of effort in the first set gave us a little bit of confidence so that we can play with the better teams in the conference. It’s just about figuring out how to continue that same effort and energy.”

As Coach Starr said, the second set and third sets were all Wright State. After scoring the first point of both the second and third sets and never even thought about giving up the lead. A 7-2 run, and a 5-1 run in the second gave the Raiders a 22-13 advantage, winning 25-16. The third was no different. Wright State had all the momentum and dominated throughout the third. A 4-0, and 5-0 run gave the Raiders a comfortable 20-9 advantage and eventually won their 7th match in a row, as the Colonials drop their 4th in a row.

In the middle of the third set, a point was awarded to Wright State, head coach Dale Starr was furious with the call and resulted in a red card. Volleyball red cards define that the team showed a red card with giving the opposing team service and a penalty point. Starr shared his displeasure after the game.

“I was arguing with the call and I didn’t like the call, still don’t agree with the call, and I’m not going to explain any further about what was said.”

In the losing effort, the Colonials had six blocks, including Nikolette Zanolli and Emma Granger each having two. Starr was optimistic with the serving between the team tonight.

“I think we served pretty tough today. That was part of our game plan coming in is we needed them to get out of their system. When that team has three options with their setters, there pretty difficult to stop so we wanted to try to make them a little more predictable and we did a pretty decent job in doing that today.”

Another long road trip stands in the way, as Coach Starr itches for the team’s first Horizon League win away from home.

“It’s a process. We have to continue to work to get better each day and continue to put ourselves in a position to win and at some point we’ll get over the hump.”

The Colonials will travel to 5 different schools starting with Oakland on Saturday, Cleveland State on Sunday, and won’t play until Friday, October 29 at Purdue Fort Wayne, and play the next day at IUPUI. The road trip will end the next Friday, November 5 at Youngstown State.