Volleyball amass seven game win streak


Sami Mirza

Defensive Specialist Jacy Diaz, ’26, in a ready position to attack the ball. Diaz earned a season-high 35 digs in the Gators’ last match against Geneva.

The Gators volleyball team has won seven straight games while climbing the ladder in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, currently ranked third. They are carrying a 14-8 record, with a clean sheet of 4-0 in conference play.

“It’s a really nice thing to be able to carry over wins, and have that group of girls that carry a lot of energy and continually bring it,” said Team Captain Cheyenne Wilson, ’23.

The streak started on Sept. 24, when the Gators took down the Golden Tornadoes of Geneva 3-0 on the road. The win dominoed into three more shutout victories on their home court, mowing down conference foes including Westminster, Thiel and Waynesburg.

The team hit the road again on Oct. 5, traveling 40 minutes Southwest of Pittsburgh to face the Presidents of Washington and Jefferson College, handling them 3-1.
Their most recent win was against Geneva on Oct. 7. Allegheny fell behind Geneva zero sets to two, and would end up winning the next three sets to earn the reverse sweep; this time in James H. Mullen, Jr. Arena.

The team’s most recent win came Thurs., Oct. 13, as the Gators took down Franciscan 3-1 on the road. After starting off season 3-6, the Gators have rallied off 11 of their last 13. Wilson stated that team chemistry has become a point of emphasis since their turn around.

“If we come in with a lot of energy we play a lot better” Wilson said. “And our bench was huge. They’re a really good group of girls.”

The team has gelled well, receiving contributions from multiple players on the roster with Wilson among the top of that list. In the game against Geneva, Wilson set season highs in kills with 17 and digs with 23. Her leadership on the court and exemplary play has earned her back-to-back seasons of being named captain.

Wilson strives to put her own best foot forward on the court, however with her role it is also important that she is able to bring the best out of her teammates. Chemistry has been a focal point of the team this season, making sure everyone is on the same page and can connect with their teammates.

Wilson has been learning the communication styles of her teammates, figuring out what each player responds best to and how to get the most out of them. She has had numerous conversations with individuals as well as the team to see what is working and what is not. Additionally Wilson is in charge of setting up team events including movie nights, team dinners and a pumpkin carving special that will take place later this fall.

“Last year I learned a lot from our senior captain on how to be a good role model,” Wilson said. “This year I’m continually growing and I just feel really honored that my teammates look up to me in that way.”

Another major contributor for the Blue and Gold this season has been India McCruter, ’24. Standing at a towering 5 feet, 9 inches tall has allowed her to reach over the net and set a new season high in of 10 blocks during their most recent win against Geneva.

McCruter’s defensive prowess is consistently felt by opposing hitters, as she was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. Her impact on offense has been just as noticeable, already boasting more kills than she had last season with 131. She gives all the credit to her teammates, stating she couldn’t do it without them.

“The team is very focused,” McCruter said. “I just try to go in and do what’s best for them.”

The volleyball team is active as community members as well. According to the Allegheny Athletics Website, Jacy Diaz, ’26, and Alejandra Fernandez, ’26, have set up a fundraising event to help their home country recover from the ravaging effects of Hurricane Fiona.

On Oct. 15, the Gators will be collecting donations at the entrance of the Wise Center, when they face off against Bethany College at 1 p.m. All funds gathered throughout the day will be put towards relief efforts to help communities in Puerto Rico.

Diaz has made her impact known off court, but her play on the court should not be overlooked. She has taken the term “first-year,” and has thrown it out the window looking like a four-year veteran. While playing Geneva at home, Diaz bested her previous season high of 30 digs, adding an additional five to give her a new season best.

“We have to have the mindset that every team wants to beat us,” Diaz said. “We still have to keep working hard and no matter if we win, go hard every game.”

Left to right: Mila Anderson, ’25, Emma Chambers, ’24, and India McCruter, ’24, celebrating after scoring a point during their home game versus Geneva.