Unfortunately for volleyball, momentum doesn’t always travel well.
Coming off a 3-2 homestand, the Maroons (7-11) took a step back at last weekend’s Wheaton College Invitational, going 1-3 over two days for a seventh-place finish.
The team walked onto the courts Friday with high hopes, having solidly beaten both of their scheduled opponents over the weekend. The psychological edge proved not to be enough. North Park (5-11) held the Maroons down for a 30-22, 30-23, 30-26 victory in the first match and Benedictine (10-8) strengthened as the match went on for a 30-26, 28-30, 30-25, 30-23 win.
The Maroons hit just .044 against North Park and improved to just .146 against Benedictine. The Maroons are currently hitting just .205 on the year.
Second-year middle hitter Koryn Kendall led Chicago with 17 kills on the day.
Trouble continued Saturday, as seventh-ranked Elmhurst (13-2) slammed the team 30-17, 30-20, 30-18, sending them to the seventh-place match against Aurora (6-10). The Maroons found themselves in a dogfight, dropping two of the first three games, but bounced back to win the tiebreaker for a 30-25, 31-29, 31-29, 30-28, 15-7 win.
Fourth-year right-side hitter Erica Pettke had 24 kills and six blocks to pace the team. She increased her team-leading season total to 178.
Hopefully, that comeback will help the Maroons build momentum going into the first weekend of UAA round robin play in Cleveland, starting tomorrow. Chicago will face off against several quality opponents, starting with Emory (13-1) tomorrow and continuing Sunday against top-ranked Washington (12-0) and Carnegie Mellon (12-5).