Story by Lindsay Hillstrom, Reporter
The Aquinas women’s volleyball team defeated U-M Dearborn on Tuesday (Oct. 5) in three straight sets by scores of 19-25, 19-25, and 20-25. Aquinas has since beaten Lourdes University (Oct. 6) and lost to both Siena Heights (Oct. 8) and Madonna (Oct. 9). The Saints have maintained a winning record on the season at 13-10.
At the forefront of the team’s decisive victory over U-M Dearborn was freshman setter Cassie Sustrich, who was credited with 27 assists, six digs, and four block assists. Other standout performances were posted by senior outside hitter Jackie Rozell, who contributed seven kills and three aces. Senior Emily Jones also led the team with 10 kills and seven blocks from the middle hitter position.
The Saints hope to build on their performance against U-M Dearborn in the coming weeks. “Our goals for the rest of the season are to continue to work hard, keep the energy up, and as Coach [Ryan Campbell] says, ‘continue to climb the ladder,’” Sustrich said after the match. “This is going to be a busy month full of games and we need to stay focused and continue to play the way we know.”
Sustrich also credited her teammates for supporting her during her strong freshman season. “I am very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this team. From the beginning, I felt welcomed and encouraged by everyone and I have had a great start to my freshman year of college,” she said.
Rozell, meanwhile, hit a notable milestone earlier this season when she posted her 1,000th career kill. “It was definitely an emotional moment for me and my team,” she said. “I think it’s a testament to hard work on and off the court as well as a testament to all the amazing coaches, teammates, family, and friends that have supported me throughout my collegiate career.”
Jones, who earned WHAC Player of the Week and NAIA National Defender of the Week honors earlier this year, echoed Rozell’s sentiments. “The ability to go out on the court and help my team win is a gift by itself, but it is very cool to be recognized for my accomplishments,” she said. “I’m honored to represent my team and the WHAC at a national level and hope to repeat that performance this season.”
The Aquinas women’s volleyball team will host their next match on Wednesday (Oct. 13) against Grace Christian University. Scheduled start time for the match at Sturrus Center is 4:00 pm.