Clarion, PA – Don′t ever tell head coach Wendy Smith or Geneva′s women′s volleyball team that they back down from a challenge. Smith took her team to Clarion University this weekend for a tournament comprised of mostly NCAA Division II competition. More overwhelming for Geneva was the fact that starting middle hitter Megan Summers was playing at less than 50% with a sprained ankle that was suffered in practice on Thursday. With all those odds playing against them, the Golden Tornadoes opened play at Clarion on Friday with a pair of losses. Geneva lost to host Clarion 3-0 in game one and was then shut-out 3-0 by Slippery Rock University.
While Clarion improved to 11-8 and Slippery Rock kept rolling at 21-4, the Golden Tornadoes saw their record dip to 8-13. Coach Smith has always believed that playing top competition this time of year will only help to improve her club down the stretch.
On Friday afternoon, Marisa Barickman again led Geneva in just about every category, at least in the first match. Barickman led the way with 12 kills, 13 digs and five blocks in the loss to Clarion. In the second match, Barickman again paced Geneva with 13 kills to her credit. Currently second in the AMC in kills per game, Barickman didn′t do anything on Friday to hurt that status. Caryn Azure chipped in with 23 assists and Allison Seldomridge continued her pace on the defensive end of the court with 20 digs to lead Geneva.
It doesn′t get any easier for Geneva on Saturday as the Golden Tornadoes will go up against two more teams from the Division II PSAC. Geneva will open the day against Lock Haven and then take on Edinboro before heading home to Beaver Falls tomorrow evening. The Golden Tornadoes return home next weekend for three critical AMC North matches beginning with a match against Daemen on Friday night.