Volleyball swept at Tennessee Tech Tournament


Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Gabby DePersio gets down for a dig

Becca Langys , Photo Editor

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The Western Illinois University women’s volleyball team traveled to Cookeville, Tenn. to participate in the Tennessee Tech Tournament this past weekend. The Leathernecks played three games in total, spanning through both Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21. The Purple and Gold came home with three losses added to their overall record, making them 3-10 this season thus far.

The women’s volleyball team was matched up with teams from three different schools including Tennessee Tech, Middle Tennessee and Southern Illinois University. The Leathernecks struggled to take down each of these teams, with games won/lost ratio of 4-9. The Tennessee Tech Tournament was the team’s final tournament of the season before conference play starts, and the Leathernecks are looking to improve upon their previous tournament to be successful during their upcoming Summit League matches.

Offensively, the Leathernecks were led this weekend by Sophomore right-side hitter Mariah Mitchell who raked up 32 kills, making her total kill count this season 107 kills. Another offensive leader on the court this weekend was freshman hitter Elle Shult who earned a total of 18 kills this past weekend. Shult is currently the third-ranking kill leader for the Leathernecks, having 58 total kills for the 2019 season.

Defensively, freshman libero Gabby DePersio led the Purple and Gold with 50 total digs this weekend. DePersio continues to prove her abilities on the court as a freshman, outshining other defensive players on the team that are older than her. DePersio had two service aces this weekend as well.

Another defensive leader on the court was freshman outside-hitter Aubrey Putman. Putman raked up 38 digs and seven blocks this weekend. Senior hitter Mackenzie Steckler also stood out defensively at the net, earning a total of 22 blocks this weekend. Steckler currently holds the largest amount of blocks for the Leathernecks this season so far, making her the block-leader with a total of 70 successful blocks. Steckler is a seasoned Leatherneck who continues to dominate at the net and prove her presence on the court.

The Purple and Gold have an entire season ahead of them to prove their abilities on the court, and their conference games are the perfect opportunity for them to do so. The 2019 women’s volleyball roster is full of both young talent and seasoned talent, and it is imperative that the Leathernecks figure out how to combine both skill-sets to pull out some wins this season. Both the seasoned athletes and the rookie athletes have strong volleyball skill-sets that, when combined, could be lethal.

As the Leathernecks look forward, their next match will be held in Fort Wayne, Ind. against Purdue University Fort Wayne. The Mastodons currently hold a record of 6-8, meaning that they might be a challenge for the Leathernecks come to their next game day. The Leathernecks will be entering the match with a 3-10 record and are working to bring home a win to start out the conference strong. Be sure to tune in at www.goleathernecks.com to keep up with the Purple and Gold.