The University of Rhode Island women’s volleyball team hosted the ninth annual Art Carmichael invitation over the weekend, first defeating Stony Brook, before falling to San Diego State in a heartbreaker, and then again coming up short against Notre Dame in the finale.
The Rams looked to extend their three game winning streak heading into their first match on Friday afternoon against the Stony Brook Sea Wolves. They swept the Sea Wolves three sets to none, winning 27-25, 25-21 and 26-24. Junior Kylee Wolfe led the team with 13 kills while senior Layne Self had eight kills, four blocks and four digs.
Later that evening, the Rams found themselves in a five set thriller against the San Diego State Aztecs that could have gone either way. Both teams traded sets, three of four being won by seven or more points, until a decisive fifth was needed. URI took control, building an 8-4 lead. The momentum shifted in favor of the Aztecs before the Rams reclaimed the lead and earned a match point. They were unable to convert, as San Diego had their own opportunity to put the game away. URI thwarted one, but could not save a second at 16-15.
“It’s tough to go five games, they’re out of gas right now but that’s no excuse,” head coach Bob Schneck said after the long match against SDSU.
Senior Audrey Castro led the Rams with 19 kills and Senior Callan Kinman had 47 assists and 11 digs to go along with five blocks.
On Saturday night, the Rams wrapped up the event by taking on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Rams lost the first set, 25-17, but came back to win the second, 25-22. They would lose a tight third set, 26-24 before Notre Dame rolled, 25-15, to win the fourth set and match.
Once again it was Castro leading the team in kills with 20, which earned her all-tournament honors for her play throughout the weekend, totaling 51 kills, to go with 17 digs, five blocks and six service aces.
The Rams were competitive in the tourney, but Schneck knows they could have been more productive.
“There needs to be more offense, more people contributing for it to work,” Schneck, now in his 35th year as head coach, said about his team’s performance. “At times (we played) well, and other times not so well.”
The Rams will hope to find more consistency when they take part in the Penn State Invitational where they will face off against the host school and the Clemson Tigers.